Bush’s ‘Iraq’ Gaffe Meant More Than You Think

As the media takes him to task for his “Freudian Slip,” they’re totally missing the deeper questions.

Matt Gangloff
5 min readMay 20, 2022


Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

I fought in Iraq under Bush, did not like him, did not vote for him, thought he was an idiot, and did not support the war after seeing it first-hand.

I’m telling you that to give this opinion credibility: Bush’s Iraq gaffe suggests he has a conscience.

How did I do? Are you intrigued?

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Former President Bush, mistakenly said Iraq instead of Ukraine, when condemning the invasion as “Unjustified and Brutal” in a speech last week, corrected his error and then added, “Iraq, too. I’m 75.”

As soon as those words passed his lips, I could almost hear the clickity-clacking of keyboards at every news outfit in the country, preparing to skewer him, and skewer they did. I can’t really blame them. It was quite the gaffe and the playbook for Bush gaffes was already written years ago. They just had to run the play.

Direct snap to intellectual superiority. Reverse to resentment. End run around self-awareness.

Lazy writing aside, the consequences of the gaffe being true on any level are massive, suggesting Bush could be implicated in a baseless plot that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (we’ll never know the true numbers), thousands of US service members (multiplied 4 or 5 times if you include suicides after the fact), and all kinds of other metrics I don’t find important enough to mention in light of the first two.

It’s not that they took Bush to task but the way that they did it, that irks me. No, that’s not even it. It’s the questions they didn’t ask. It’s the analysis they didn’t do.

They simply dug up and paraded out all the Bushisms of yesteryear, in an effort to paint him as stupid, which, to be fair, he might be. 80% of the articles stop here. The remaining 20% go on to use the term “Freudian Slip” to suggest Bush is both a moron and a cold, calculated war criminal, too stupid to cover his own tracks.

But, which is it? Is he a complete doofus or a satan himself? It seems unlikely to be both. The truth, as I see…



Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life. www.mattgangloff.com