Former US President George W. Bush erroneously described the invasion of Iraq as “brutal” and “unjustified” before correcting himself by stating that he intended to refer to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Bush made the remarks in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while critiquing the Russian 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,” Bush said, before correcting himself and shaking his head. “I mean, of Ukraine.”
In jest, he blamed the mistake on his age while the audience burst into laughter.
In 2003, when Bush was president, the United States invaded Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. The protracted conflict resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of many others.
Bush’s comments quickly went viral on social media, capturing over three million views on Twitter only after the clip was tweeted by a Dallas News reporter.