In the most amazing and well-timed Freudian slip we've ever seen, former President George W. Bush denounced the "wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq" during an event in Dallas on Wednesday.
"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 said, before quickly catching himself, shaking his head to then say: "I mean, of Ukraine."
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
A clip of the moment exploded, going viral around the world immediately after it hit the web, also being featured and commented on in major outlets from Reuters to Mideast-based Al Jazeera.
The former US president had further compared Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to Britain's famous wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. "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," Reuters notes of the initial clip.
And Fox pointed out that Bush seemed to immediately perceive how severe and significant the gaffe was the moment he uttered the word Iraq:
Bush shrugged and said, under his breath, "Iraq, too." Russia has not invaded Iraq, and the Kremlin reportedly gave Saddam Hussein's government intelligence to combat the U.S. invasion early on.
"Anyway, 75," Bush added, referring to his age.
Given that Washington is growing mired in yet another foreign conflict and 'war of choice' which could lead to potential looming disaster, journalist Glenn Greenwald held up the clip as capturing "our current discourse so completely and fully."
"This captures the absurdity and deceit of our current discourse so completely and fully that it's hard to believe it actually happened," Greenwald commented on Twitter.
This captures the absurdity and deceit of our current discourse so completely and fully that it's hard to believe it actually happened.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 19, 2022
It's so rare for perfection this pure to materialize. The universe is speaking loudly here. Appreciate what it just provided: https://t.co/bWxQ8SEvC3
"It's so rare for perfection this pure to materialize. The universe is speaking loudly here. Appreciate what it just provided."
On a more serious note, a number of commentators expressed disgust at those in the audience who could be heard laughing, given that by some estimates Bush's Iraq invasion killed possibly one million civilians.
The gall of those who laughed. Illegal invasion and mass death is but a lighthearted matter as long as Western powers are doing it. https://t.co/TdyVhqfrUW— Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) May 19, 2022
Even conservative estimates place the civilian death toll in the hundreds of thousands, with many analysts also pointing out there would be no ISIS if it weren't for the 2003 regime change war that toppled Saddam Hussein.