Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday inadvertently described the invasion of Iraq, which happened under his watch, as "wholly unjustified" and "brutal."
What did Bush say?
The gaffe happened as Bush was speaking in Dallas about the importance of democracy while comparing Ukraine and Russia.
"In contrast, Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process," Bush said. "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."
The former president immediately added under his breath, "Iraq, too — anyway."
The crowd responded with laughter as Bush attributed his Freudian slip to his old age. Bush is now 75 years old.
The video of Bush's remarks has since been viewed 16 million times, generating tens of thousands of comments online.
What was the reaction?
While the crowd may have laughed away the Freudian confession, others did not laugh.
After all, the 2003 invasion of Iraq — the pretext of which was the repeated assertion by the Bush administration that Iraqi dictator Suddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — is considered one of America's greatest military blunders.
As the world knows now, Iraq never had WMDs.
The long, drawn-out war led to tens of thousands of deaths among coalition forces, including approximately 4,500 American soldiers, and a civilian death toll that is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.
Even worse, the invasion and subsequent overthrow of Hussein's government created a political vacuum and power struggle that eventually allowed terrorist groups, like the Islamic State, to seize power in the 2010s.
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