Former President of the United States, George Bush, accidentally condemned the “unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq” during a speech about Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the seventy-five-year-old was speaking at an event about the upcoming elections at the Presidential Centre in Dallas, Texas when he accidentally referred to the invasion of Ukraine as the “invasion of Iraq”, slamming it as brutal and unjustified, before correcting himself and blaming his age for the blunder.
“In contrast, Russian elections were rigged,” he started. “Political opponents imprisoned or otherwise are eliminated from 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.”
He shrugged and said ”Eh, Iraq, too,” to which the crowd laughed.
Continuing with his light-hearted take on the mistake, he also added: “Anyway. I’m 75,” to which the crowd laughed again.
Not only was the dismissive statement from Bush a blatant form of disrespect to the lives of multiple Iraqi generations affected by the US invasion, which lasted almost a decade may I add, but the laughter from members of the audience just confirms what we already knew to be true: People are completely and utterly desensitised to war and devastation in the Middle East.
Forget the fact that during Bush’s presidency, he led a horrific 2003 invasion of Iraq to ‘end the dictatorship of Sadam Hussain’, but in doing so, killed one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians as well as 4,700 U.S. and allied troops. Yeah, let’s forget about those little, insignificant statistics. Instead, let’s laugh about it while pointing fingers at another white man who has done the exact same thing. But, of course, we should only care when the victims of war and violence are white! How could I forget?
Hypocrisy at it’s finest.
It only took a few hours for the guilt-ridden mistake to go viral across social media. The responses flooded in.
“The Iraq War has so thoroughly disappeared from the political discourse, its enablers and deciders being treated as elder statesmen and their norms compared favourably to Trump — but here it is, its illegality, lies, & brutality living in Bush’s mind, waiting for a Freudian slip,” wrote Daniel Nichanian, the Editor-in-Chief of Bolts Magazine.
“George W. Bush didn’t do a Freudian slip. He did a Freudian Confession,” wrote another user.
Others focused on the audience and their condemnable behaviour: “All those people in the room with Bush think the Iraq war was funny When people show you who they are, believe them,” said Jack Posobiec, the host of Human Events.
In response, another user commented: “The irony… They are supposed to feel sympathy for Ukraine that has suffered the same fate as Iraq.”
Now let’s not take away from the plight of innocent Ukrainian civilians that are caught up in the war, because no one deserves to fall victim to such a dreadful situation, but if we kept the same energy for other countries, primarily non-white, non-Christian countries experiencing the same level of destruction and for longer periods of time, maybe we could have put an end to their suffering too.
Justice for all. It’s as simple as that.
We hope George Bush has a terrible day and that continues until his last breath.