Freudian Slips on Wars?

On May 18, 2022, former President George W. Bush said in a speech: “The decision of one man to launch a brutal and unjustified war in Iraq…I mean Ukraine.”

Wednesday, President Joe Biden, who as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee greased the skids for Bush’s "brutal and unjustified war in Iraq," said that Russian President Putin is “clearly losing the war in Iraq.” Biden one-upped W by making that boo-boo twice. On Tuesday he said: “If anybody told you – and my staff wasn’t so sure, either – that we’d be able to bring all of Europe together in the onslaught on Iraq and get NATO to be completely united, I think they would have told you it’s not likely.

Bush laughed off his Iraq gaffe, attributing it to his being “75.” Biden didn’t attribute his Iraq reference to his age (80). But it’s more likely both made Freudian Slips, haunted by the knowledge they’re responsible for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths as well as 4,400 US deaths in an illegal, immoral, criminal war.

At least Bush is out of the war business, relegated to a tragic and forgotten figure of a grotesque American military adventure. But Biden is still at it, destroying innocents with bombs and sanctions in many countries. He’s guaranteeing that Ukraine is being inexorably destroyed by providing them with billions in weapons to continue fighting instead of negotiations which could save them.

No, old age doesn’t cause those damning words ‘brutal, unjustified, onslaught, Iraq war’ to fall from their lips. It’s the guilt that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at

10 thoughts on “Freudian Slips on Wars?”

  1. Everyone makes mistakes including mistakes when they speak Biden and Bush said Iraq when they meant Ukraine. It of course doesn’t excuse them for allowing the Iraq War nor other wars nor drone strikes that they authorized. It doesn’t excuse them for the wars Putin started under their watches.
    The United States may not be directly fighting in the Ukraine War but it caused it to happen by moving bases and NATO closer to Russia’s borders. It overthrew Ukraine’s government when it was neutral. Under Bush’s watch, Russia went to war with Georgia to free South Ossetia.

  2. I don’t believe Joe Biden has ever had a conscience. His entire career was focused on helping corporations exploit people, and on wars of aggression, like in Iraq and Libya. He has never shown compassion of any type toward anyone. Now the death and destruction in Ukraine become his lasting legacy of evil.

  3. That’s so cute. Author thinks Biden and Dubya have guilt issues.
    That would require a conscience. They are psychopaths that really think of us as cattle.

  4. May 21, 2022 George Bush Accidentally Admits U.S. Is World’s Evil Empire

    It was the video that simply EVERYONE couldn’t get enough of – former President George Bush flubbing a line in a speech about what a dictatorial war criminal Vladimir Putin is by accidentally admitting that he too had committed a war crime by invading Iraq. And it’s not the first time Bush has committed a gaffe that exposed him as a callous, warmongering sociopath either.

  5. I am sorry but I cannot buy into the thesis that any of these warmongers feel a shred of guilt about any of the blood they have all over themselves. It is clear by their statements and actions that they continue to justify the cost as worth it for the sake of the “international rules based order”, or whatever other term they are giving to US global hegemony these days. You could make a better case for Pontus Pilate feeling guilty than Joe Biden or George W Bush, or any other US president.

  6. This thought-provoking article sheds light on the unconscious slips made by influential figures, reminding us of the haunting guilt associated with the consequences of war. It serves as a stark reminder of the human cost and the imperative need for diplomacy and compassion in resolving conflicts. Also, I think it is of great importance that the US Army has the best equipment in the world, as described in this article . Let’s learn from these lessons and work towards a future where peace and understanding prevail.

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