Former US President George Bush recently made a gaffe, confusing Ukraine with Iraq, describing the invasion as “brutal” and “wholly unjustified”. Known for his slips, even when he held office, Bush’s most recent mixup came on Wednesday, while he was speaking on election integrity at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.
Bush brought up Iraq while criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, and pointing out how the country’s elections are rigged.
The 75-year-old said, “Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process”, adding, “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—I mean of Ukraine.”
Upon realizing his mistake, Bush muttered “Iraq too” before referring to his advanced age and earning a round of laughter from the audience.
Bush’s faux-pas, which he’s attempted to laugh off, drew criticisms against the former president’s actions in Iraq, with many suggesting that Bush himself is guilty of war crimes.
The former president had sent US troops into Iraq in 2003, operating on the wrong belief that Saddam Hussein, who was the leader of the nation at the time, was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Former Ohio Senator Nina Turner tweeted, “George W. Bush just admitted to being a war criminal of the likes of Vladimir Putin, then laughed. Sickening.”
However, Bush’s recent mix-up comes after current president Joe Biden’s error, when he confused Afghanistan with Ukraine. Speaking in February, about the US decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Biden said “There is no way we were ever going to unite Ukraine. I mean, Iraq. Afghanistan!”, speaking to NBC.
At the time, Biden was addressing the troop buildup at Ukraine’s borders as Moscow and Kyiv engaged in military drills.