The former US President quickly corrected himself after mistakenly describing invasion of Iraq as ‘brutal’
Former US President George W. Bush mistakenly described the invasion of Iraq as “brutal” and “unjustified” before correcting himself to say he meant to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Bush made the comments in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while he was criticising Russia’s political system.
“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,” Mr Bush said, before correcting himself and shaking his head. “I mean, of Ukraine.”
He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.
In 2003, when Mr Bush was president, the United States led an invasion of Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. The prolonged conflict killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many more.
Mr Bush’s remarks quickly went viral on social media, gathering over three million views on Twitter alone after the clip was tweeted by a Dallas News reporter.
The former US President also compared Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to Winston Churchill, while condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Moscow’s troops have been accused of widespread atrocities against civilians during their devastating campaign, and Ukraine began its first war crimes trial of the conflict on Wednesday with a Russian soldier pleading guilty.
The conflict has sparked a massive exodus of more than six million Ukrainians, many bearing accounts of torture, sexual violence and indiscriminate destruction.