george bush
© Twitter / Sahil Kapur
Former President George W. Bush mistakenly labeled the Iraq war as a "wholly unjustified and brutal invasion.", in a speech on May 18, 2022
Former President George W. Bush mistakenly conflated the Iraq invasion his administration oversaw with Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine in a Wednesday speech from Dallas.

Bush, 75, immediately corrected himself after calling the Iraq occupation "wholly unjustified and brutal" while discussing election integrity at an event at Southern Methodist University's George W. Bush Institute, footage showed.

"Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from the electoral process," the two-term president 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 the Ukraine, heh," the gaffe-prone Republican said while shaking his head, squinting and smirking.

"Iraq too," he then quietly muttered before saying, "anyway ... uh ... 75," an apparent reference to his age, as the crowd chuckled.

The US invaded Iraq in 2003 on the pretense that the country was harboring weapons of mass destruction and terrorists. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

More than a quarter million people died in the ensuing conflict, including nearly five thousand US troops, according to Iraq Body Count, a website that cross checks reports and records about casualties in the country.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was among the speakers at Bush's University Park, Texas event, which was dubbed "Elections - A More Perfect Union."