Last Updated on May 19, 2022
Former President George W. Bush condemned the “brutal, unjustified invasion of Iraq” when he meant to say “Ukraine” during an event at Southern Methodist University’s Bush Center. The 43rd president also compared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Winston Churchill.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush mistakenly said before correcting himself.
Former President George W. Bush: “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of Ukraine.” pic.twitter.com/UMwNMwMnmX
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 19, 2022
Bush meant to condemn Vladimir Putin, but critics have pointed to the disastrous Iraq War in calling the remarks a “Freudian slip.”
The invasion of Iraq — which was launched based on unfounded claims of weapons of mass destruction — has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the region. Resulting instability is still ongoing to this day, as the full collapse of the Iraqi state gave rise to ISIS and was a massive factor in triggering the Syrian civil war, as large numbers of militants who fought in Iraq were present in the country when the war began.
Later in his speech, Bush praised Ukraine’s President Zelensky as “a cool little guy,” according to the Dallas Morning News, and called him “the Churchill of the 21st century.”
U.S. and NATO allies have continued to send exuberant amounts of cash and weapons to Zelensky’s government in Ukraine. The House recently passed a $40 billion aid package in order to fully support the war-torn country.
The funding package includes $9 billion to restock U.S. equipment sent to Ukraine and $6 billion in in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, which allows the administration to buy weapons from contractors and then send them to Ukraine.