Former liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin launched a left-wing tirade on his TV One news program on Wednesday, News One Now, aimed mainly at conservative opponents of President Barack Obama's foreign policy: "Who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade?...the United States, under President Reagan, invaded Grenada....Yet, here we are telling another sovereign nation what countries you can't invade. It's called being hypocritical. It is called being shameless, and frankly, we look silly."
Despite targeting Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham by name for their criticism of Obama, Martin threw a much wider net in his rant: "So Americans, can you please stop with the hypocritical nature of your criticism?...The fact of the matter is, America has always invaded other countries." The host also included some of the left's usual examples of America's meddling around the world: [MP3 audio available here; video below]
ROLAND MARTIN: ...We overthrew Hawaii. That's how it became a state. We overthrew a dictator, Allende – no, we actually overthrew Allende – democratically elected in Chile – and we put in the dictator, Pinochet. We overthrew Mossadegh in Iran – democratically elected – and that's one reason why the Iranians are still pissed with us today, because we overthrew what happened there. And so, who are we to think that we somehow can tell the rest of the world how dare you...overthrow countries? We've gotten so good at it over the past 100 years – and actually, since our existence. So, I would say to the critics, please, for the sake of everybody else, shut the hell up, because frankly, overthrowing countries is what America has been really, really, really good at.
Martin led his commentary by bemoaning how "for the last few days, we have seen all of these folks in Congress act a fool against President Barack Obama, dealing with what is happening in Ukraine and Crimea, and what's going to happen with Vladimir Putin." He continued with one of the left's main talking points against the Iraq War:
MARTIN: ... Okay, let's just be honest: who the hell is America fooling to tell somebody else in another country who you can invade and cannot invade? Last I checked, we invaded Iraq – am I correct? Have we still found weapons of mass destruction? No! We led an effort. Did we ignore Afghanistan? For the most part – we chose to go into Iraq.
So, now, all of a sudden, we are castigating Putin for going into Ukraine. So, tell me, Senator John McCain; please tell me, Senator Lindsey Graham; and all of the other folks who are criticizing President Obama – calling him weak; calling him feckless; saying that we're leading from behind – exactly what are we going to do? Please tell me you actually think we're going to send troops or helicopters or airplanes or move our ships in the ocean there to deal with what's going on in Ukraine. We're not!
The TV One host then asserted that "Americans really don't care – seriously! We don't care what's happening in Ukraine. Ask most Americans how to find Ukraine or Crimea or even Russia on the map....What we're dealing with here is Americans are sick and tired of wars. We're tired of trying to tell everybody else their business. But also, America lost the moral authority after what took place in Iraq. We no longer have the same level of trust across the world, and we used to enjoy."
Later, Martin likened President Obama's handling of the current crisis in Ukraine to former President George W. Bush's reaction to Russia's invasion of Georgia:
MARTIN: ...So, why don't we stop all of these games? Why don't we – and please, also tell me this here: if I'm correct – 2008 – Russia invaded Georgia – no, not Atlanta, Georgia – Georgia over there, okay? What did President George W. Bush do? Nothing. He issued statements. He held news conferences. We did sanctions. He did the exact same thing that President Obama is doing right now. If, for some reason, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, somehow believe that President Obama could somehow do something magical and different to deal with Putin – that is simply not the case. You're not going to see anything happen. You're not going to see America, all of a sudden, send troops, because we're tired of war. We're tired of also trying to tell somebody else how to run your country.
The former CNN on-air personality ended the segment with his Reagan invading Grenada reference and his Chile and Iran examples.
This kind of beyond heated rhetoric is nothing new from Martin. Back in May 2008, he hammered McCain for his vote in favor of the Iraq War:
MARTIN: ...Okay, John McCain, you're a war hero. You served. But you also voted for the war that's led to the death of 4,000 Americans. We have spent billions of dollars and, frankly, it has not stabilized the Middle East. He's going to say, you aligned with the Bush administration, who went before Congress and who said, hey, our gas prices are going to go down because of the war in Iraq. We're not going to spend as much money. He's going to put the cost of the war and how it has not done what it was supposed to on his back and say, you know what? Explain that, Mr. War Hero.