George W. Bush Calls Invasion of Iraq ‘Wholly Unjustified and Brutal’ in Apparent Verbal Slip

Second Bush admin marked with controversy over its Middle East invasion.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Former President George W. Bush made headlines over what is being called a “stunning” Freudian slip on Wednesday.
  • The former president was in the process of vehemently denouncing the war in Ukraine and calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin when he confused his own war in Iraq with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Bush said that the attack on “Iraq” was “unjustified and brutal” before correcting himself and saying that he meant “Ukraine.”
BUSH’S STATEMENT IN CONTEXT:

“In contrast (to Ukraine) Russian elections are rigged,” said Bush. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated for participating in the Electoral Process. 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,” Bush added, quickly correcting himself.

BACKGROUND:
  • The invasion of Iraq was justified by the belief that terror organizations were staging their attacks there, but largely due to the claim that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
  • Nearly 300,000 civilians and troops were killed during the incursion and more than 9 million Iraqis were displaced internally and abroad.