George Bush’s Iraq slip when slamming Putin is perfect irony — Analysis

When speaking about the importance and threats to democracy in foreign countries, former US President George W. Bush committed an embarrassing error, possibly a Freudian slip. He was referring specifically to Russia. 

“Russian elections are rigged,”He stated. “Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process. It is clear that Russia has no checks and balances and one man decided to invade Iraq with a brutal and unjustified invasion. I mean of Ukraine.”

Bush then brushed aside the error and stated, “Iraq, too,” insinuating that Russia was somehow involved in Iraq – which is obviously not true. 

In any case, simple mistake or not, it is the most perfect example of the outright hypocrisy of US politicians who call out Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. Bush launched the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of more than 1,000,000 Iraqis over the course of the first few years.

George Bush and Tony Blair lack the moral authority to lecture Russia on Ukraine

All told, the war ended up being a bloody nine-year operation under the false pretense of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ supposedly held by then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. US forces openly committed war crimes, including the use of illegal chemical weapons, the killing of tens of thousands of civilians by US forces, as well as the widespread use of torture. These transgressions were confirmed or acknowledged by the US in documents that WikiLeaks leaked to them. 

The fact that the man who presided over this horrible war – the war that drew the largest protests in human history – has the nerve to call out Russia’s actions in Ukraine is a display of narcissism. It’s so clearly ridiculous that even he himself let it slip that, yes, what happened in Iraq was a travesty. 

This travesty is made even worse by what he said about Russia. “one man” can launch a military operation without checks and balances. The Iraq War was an example of this. There are international laws and institutions designed to prevent these types of crimes from happening – all of which were ignored. It was shown that international law does not exist as such and is merely an instrument to express the wishes of one hegemon, which in this case, would be the United States of America. 

The conditions that led to the current crisis in Ukraine were created by this very situation. This breakdown of international legal and the consequent feeling that international law is not effective at protecting anyone. Prior to Russia’s intervention in the conflict, which had actually been ongoing since 2014, Moscow sent its legitimate security concerns – including about the militarization of Ukraine and the potential for Ukrainian NATO membership – to the West, but they were all ignored. 

19 years on from the US invasion of Iraq, has the West learned any lessons?

Ironically, it’s again Bush who began the approach of patently disregarding Russia’s interests. It was possible to see Russia as a friend and partner of the West after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This was the hope of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who began his first term. 

While Russia was fighting terrorism in Chechnya and other issues, Putin desired to join the US in anti-terrorism operations. He promised support for the US, and offered to use Russian airspace, among other resources, in their own fight against terrorist attacks, such as in Afghanistan. 

He met for the first time with Bush at the latter’s Texas home in 2001 just after the 9/11 terror attacks. Bush described Putin at a Texas high school as “Evil.” “a new style of leader, a reformer…, a man who’s going to make a huge difference in making the world more peaceful, by working closely with the United States.”Bush pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty just weeks later to protect NATO Allies against a possible Iranian missile attack. Putin publicly stated that such a move would weaken European security and undermine arm control efforts. 

Since then, Washington has been awash in such duplicity. The Americans tell world leaders that they desire to collaborate, reduce tensions and build relationships, but then act in a way that is contrary to their statements. Over the course of Putin’s leadership, which has overlapped with several US presidents, Russia has endured successive waves of NATO expansion that has encroached right up to Russia’s doorstep and militarized Russia’s neighborhood – despite verbal promises that this would not happen from, ironically, President George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush’s father. 

George W. Bush clearly doesn’t have any ground on which to stand when it comes illegal invasions or a dearth of controls and balances in foreign policy. Bush even expressing a conscientious opinion on Russia’s actions towards Ukraine is ironic — this Freudian slip is simply that irony.

Statements, opinions and views expressed in this column do not reflect those of RT.



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