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‘Did we learn nothing from 1938?’: Scenes from the Trump and Cruz anti-Iran deal rally

on 18 Comments

It was Senator Ted Cruz’s party on the front lawn of the US Capitol Wednesday to rally against President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Texan Cruz, who gained his US senate seat with Tea Party support and who has since gone out of his way to tout his pro-Israel bonifides, was joined on the stage by fellow Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, as well as Glenn Beck and Zionist Organization of America’s Mort Klein, among many others.

Speaker after speaker said the deal spelled almost certain disaster for the United States and her allies. The Holocaust was invoked time and again.

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

If placards, t-shirts and other insignia were any indication, the space between the Capitol steps and the Reflection Pool was filled with an eclectic mix of what used to be strange bedfellows: conservative Tea Partiers, Israel supporters, and all manner of opponents of anyone named Obama, Boehner or those affiliated with the Democratic party.

Tank-topped attendees with camouflaged “Duck Dynasty” baseball caps stood next to those wearing business suits and yarmulkes. American and Israeli flags flew in the breeze in front of a large TRUMP banner.

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

A female African-American Cruz supporter hoisted a placard reading, “What part of Death To America, Death to Israel, Don’t You Understand?”

Another sign said that one of the deal’s primary failures was that it “slaps Israel in the face.”

One poster, also available as a sticker, depicted a caricatured Obama with the words: “I Run, I Ran, I Ruin,” flanked by US and EU flags.

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

A retired Navy veteran who traveled from Pearland, Texas, for the event sported a shirt that read: “Obama, Liar, Radical, Marxist, Socialist, Tyrant, Subversive.”

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

Bob Kunst of Shalom Intl. wore a T-shirt with the word “Infidel” and held a sign saying, “Did we learn nothing from 1938?” Revealing his sweaty face from beneath a rubber Hillary Clinton mask, he said that he traveled from Miami Beach, and that the deal was “treacherous” and “traitorous.”

“And I’m a registered Democrat!” he added.

Arriving on stage to the strains of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” Cruz said that if the deal went through the Obama administration would be the leading financer of terrorism in the world.

The pastor’s son bemoaned that one of the four Americans imprisoned in Iran was being held for the “crime of preaching the gospel.”

And like in a church sermon, there was a kind of call-and-response with the crowd.

You go Ted! Go get ‘em!

“I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Cruz said, that Iran posed an “existential threat to the nation of Israel.”


(By saying “existential,” Cruz quipped, he didn’t mean chain-smoking Frenchmen wearing berets.)

Ted Cruz (Photo: Peter Voskamp)

Ted Cruz (Photo: Peter Voskamp)

Cruz excoriated Obama and the rest of his administration for skipping Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress. He told of meeting with Elie Wiesel, who said that “Never again means never again.”

He called upon Democrats who support the Iran deal to “fall on their knees and pray tonight.”

Boo. Send them to Iran!

The current crop of Congressional Democrats, Cruz went on, could not be compared to their worthier predecessors who had more backbone, like Scoop Jackson, JFK and Joe Lieberman. Rather, they are willing to sacrifice lives in order remain loyal to the Obama White House.

That’s what they’re doing. Party first! Traitors! Traitors!

How, Cruz asked, could Democrats reconcile themselves to the fact that the Iran deal would lift sanctions on Iranian General Soleimani, who allegedly facilitated roadside IEDs that killed American servicemen in Iraq?

They don’t care!

As a result of this deal, Cruz said, “people will die.”


He was met with cheers as he lowered his voice and solemnly said: “This is a lawless president.”

The senator went on to repeat his warning that Iran could set off an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) off the East Coast and kill “millions of Americans.”


Finally, he said that if Iran won’t end its nuclear program on its own, “we will stop it for you.”

That’s right!

Trump (Photo: Peter Voskamp)

Trump (Photo: Peter Voskamp)

Trump came onstage with REM’s “It’s the End of The World As We Know It” blaring from the sound system.

As the dealmaker went through the motions of vaguely decrying the Iran deal, a group began loudly protesting his stand on immigration. As the protesters continued chanting while being escorted away through the crowd, a handful of middle-aged white males along the way pursued them to offer their thoughts:

Not immigration; invasion!

Get a job, deadbeats!


You gotta go, losers!

Meanwhile in the background Trump lamented that the nation was led by “stupid, stupid people.”

As the Donald exited through a throng of media, conservative talk show host Mark Levin said that Obama made Neville Chamberlain look like “George S. Patton.”

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)

(Photo: Peter Voskamp)


Peter Voskamp

Peter Voskamp is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC.

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18 Responses

  1. Bandolero on September 10, 2015, 10:19 am


    Nice report. But how could you miss to mention the appearance of vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin? Unlike the rest of the crowd, she’s at least an expert on nuclear energy and the threat of US allies in Korea being exposed to nuclear weapons. As well as she is an expert on Russia, that she’s already seen with her own eyes. And, of course, now Sarah Palin is running for the post of United States Secretary of Energy, so as a shadow US Secretary of Energy she’ll teach Ernest Moniz nuclear physics. Yes, she can. She’s such a nuclear expert.

    By the way, did you see MSNBC reporting an passant on that protest in Wash DC? Quote:

    … On Capitol Hill yesterday, a bizarre spectacle unfolded, as right-wing activists and speakers gathered to condemn the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Attendees were treated to a parade of strange, angry voices – Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, and Glenn Beck, among many others – each of whom expressed their ill-informed foreign-policy disgust.

    But while the drama just outside the Capitol building was amazing, the more meaningful drama unfolded inside the building.

    As recently as 24 hours ago, the road ahead was simple and straightforward. After receiving the Iran deal in July, Congress had 60 days to vote on a resolution opposing the policy. Under the plan devised by Republican leaders, the GOP-led House would express its disapproval, followed by another vote in the GOP-led Senate. According to the head counts, the effort would fail; U.S. foreign policy would advance; and Republicans could move on to creating some other crisis.

    As the Washington Post reported overnight, that plan has now been scrapped. …


    As I read it today in the morning I had to laugh so hard that I almost lost my coffee cup. I never thought that I would read such words in a major US paper reporting on pro-Israel crowds. LOL.

    • Marnie on September 12, 2015, 5:47 am

      Oh my. The only misfit missing was Ted Nugent. The US is getting crazier by the minute!

      • kalithea on September 15, 2015, 1:23 am

        The US is getting crazier by the minute!

        And who’s fault is it?

  2. Scott on September 10, 2015, 11:28 am

    I wonder if you thought (or others did) that the crowd was pretty small. It seemed so on the video I looked at–compared to say the anti-deal rally in Times Square in August. Also: Cruz is a real demagogue. Trump I actually prefer to most Republicans–I agree with Ross Douthat that he’s essentially a third party candidate. My sense from his speech was that he doesn’t really oppose the deal–one of his big complaints in is speech was that Iran wasn’t going to be sufficiently open to American business, compared to European and others. Which is a (relatively) sensible position, it seems to me. Of course he shouldn’t be appearing alongside the genuinely wacko Cruz.

  3. a blah chick on September 10, 2015, 4:20 pm

    Has no one in our Lame Stream Media bothered to point out that millions of Arabs and Muslims would be incinerated by this mythological Iranian warhead?

  4. Pretext on September 10, 2015, 6:54 pm

    I’m not so sure about what lesson we’re supposed to be taking away from 1938 here, but I’m pretty sure this crowd hasn’t learned anything from 2003.

  5. JennieS on September 10, 2015, 6:59 pm

    Did we learn nothing from 1938? Of course we did – the political value of xenophobia and the best methods to arouse hatred of the ‘other’.

  6. BI on September 10, 2015, 7:26 pm

    When Nixon opened China, the hysterics came from the military-industrial complex. This time around the hysterics clouding the Iran deal are all because of Israel >>

  7. JLewisDickerson on September 10, 2015, 10:29 pm

    RE: “The senator [i.e., Cruz] went on to repeat his warning that Iran could set off an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) off the East Coast and kill ‘millions of Americans’.” ~ Voskamp

    MY COMMENT: It sounds as though Cruz might have been trying to ‘curry favor’ with ‘vulture capitalist’ Paul Singer! ! ! *

    * SEE: “Paul Singer’s EMP Fetish”, by Eli Clifton,, April 8, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] The 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls making the rounds of potential campaign moneymen are treating hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer as a major kingmaker . . .

    . . . Singer is clearly invested in promoting a hawkish Iran policy, but he’s less well-known for his advocacy of one of the far-right’s fringe issues: warning about the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which he regards as the greatest threat facing the world.

    According to CNBC, Singer warned clients of his hedge fund, Elliott Management, in an investment letter update last year, that a natural EMP event today would cause a massive disruption to the electric grid, possibly shutting it down entirely for months or longer, with unimaginable consequences. Only two years ago, the sun let loose with a Carrington-magnitude burst, but the position of the earth at the time prevented the burst from hitting it. The chances of additional events of such magnitude may be far greater than most people think.
    And, like any good EMP-scaremonger, Singer stressed that a man-made EMP attack would be even worse:

    It would not cause any blast or radiation damage, but such an attack would have consequences even more catastrophic than a severe solar storm. It could not only bring down the grid, but also lay down a very intense, very fast pulse across the continent, damaging or destroying electronic switches, devices, computers and transformers across America.

    Singer called for greater protection of the power grid and electronic devices to combat the EMP threat. . .

    . . . Arms-control specialist Jeffrey Lewis has described the cult of EMP as the “conservative fetish that just won’t die.” . . .

    SOURCE –

  8. Citizen on September 11, 2015, 2:52 am

    Everytime I watch and hear Cruz he reminds me of Joe McCarthy.

    • kalithea on September 15, 2015, 1:15 am

      Yeah, and he’s there to buttress the icon of the 1% and together they’ll no doubt evaporate the Sanders “socialist” movement and bring on another dark age.

  9. just on September 11, 2015, 7:30 am

    Thanks for this report and the great photos, Peter!

    I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to experience it in person.

    wrt the rally, the video includes bits from Trump and Cruz and Palin:

    “WATCH: Joe Scarborough Accuses the American Left of anti-Semitic Rhetoric on Iran Deal

    ‘You’re either against Israel and for this deal or the Jewish lobby has paid you off and you’re scared of these powerful Jews … It’s sickening. And it’s bigotry and it should be called out.'”

    read more:

    • Kay24 on September 11, 2015, 7:43 am

      I watched Scarborough kiss up to Israel shamelessly yesterday and was disgusted by his display of love and protection. Not once did he mention the words occupation or illegal settlements.
      It was all about anti semitism, and how we are letting Israel down. No mention that this is a good deal for us and the rest of the world.

      It is strange all those billions we keep giving that parasitic nations, latest weapons,( they are one of the top weapons manufacturers in the world), they also have one of the most ruthless armed forces, and undeclared nuclear weapons, but it always must be referred to as a victim, and totally helpless. I wonder if Scarborough felt it was time for him to show the love and keep having job security. Mika reminds me of a meek and intimidated wife, who sometimes disagrees with him, but dare not speak up.

      • just on September 11, 2015, 5:42 pm

        “I wonder if Scarborough felt it was time for him to show the love and keep having job security. Mika reminds me of a meek and intimidated wife, who sometimes disagrees with him, but dare not speak up.”

        +1. I stopped watching the Joe and Mika show long ago, Kay.

        I got sooo tired of the schtick.

        “Not once did he mention the words occupation or illegal settlements.”

        They never do, do they?

        (goodness~ I thought I had posted this reply earlier this morning! I came home and here it is, waiting for me. LOL!)

      • Kay24 on September 12, 2015, 12:09 pm

        @ Just. They never mention anything negative regarding Israel, including referring to the occupation, or illegal settlements both condemned by the entire world. Just for once, I would like to hear someone in the media suggest that perhaps the rockets and stones keep going on because the occupation goes on. It is alway the implication that Israel is an innocent player in this, and deserves to be protected. I am sick of this farce.

  10. kalithea on September 15, 2015, 1:04 am

    Maybe I’m imagining this and being overly pessimistic but this ominous love fest between Trump and Cruz may not be as casual or fleeting as we may think. Maybe Cruz is starting to visualize a Trump presidency and positioning himself to get the Tea Party in through the back door of the White House by setting himself up to be the next Vice-president and if you thought Cheney was bad as GW’s sidekick…I hate to see what this marriage in hell will bring.

    There just might be a Trump/Cruz ticket in the works…and what really scares me the most is that I’m not sure anyone on the Democratic side looks like they can stop this Trump/Cruz crazy train.

    Whether you like it or not, here’s how I see Trump: Trump is to Republicans in these primaries what Obama was to Democrats and the Left in 2008. This time it’s Republicans that are getting the big con, because Trump may be pitching the Bible as his favorite book but when you remove the jacket cover what you get underneath is a picture of Trump and the heading: “TRUMP – The Art of the Deal”. And now it’s starting to look like the art of the political con; conning the 99% or at least more than half of them into voting against their best interests. Imagine the damage a Trump/Cruz ticket will do? I’m seeing Bush/Cheney on unapologetic steroids.

    Like I said, who’s going to stop the crazy train from reaching the White House? The Left better stop underestimating what’s happening on the Republican side. What’s happening is very scary and that’s because the Left underwent an identity lobotomy with Obama. I don’t like the Democrats because to me it’s like both parties are two sides of the same coin, Hillary’s floundering (deservedly so, because she’s anything but transparent and so much more that annoys the hell out of me), Biden would be more of the same and Trump would chew him up, but if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination (and he wouldn’t advance the Palestinian cause an iota) he’s going to fade away next to Trump’s ginormous ego and here’s the thing: wait til the icon of capitalism starts painting him a radical red. How can the 99% allow the icon of the 1% to become President? Americans are hope…less!

    So it looks very bleak. Trump might just lead the Tea nuts and his gigantic ego to victory. I hope I’m wrong and it’ll be a pleasure to eat crow…but it’s all very troubling.

  11. vincent on September 16, 2015, 1:27 am

    A Trump Cruz ticket is nullified when people are reminded of Trump as lead birther along with another R/ E wonder named Orly Taitz. As Bill Maher has said recently, Trump may galvanize but he will never be president.

    Trump has had dealings with the WWE and Vince McMahon. WWE/ Fox News scripted match-ups have someone leading by wide margins only to be thwarted by a perceived underdog who pulls off a “miraculous” comeback. This means Jeb Bush, and either Rubio, Kasich or Paul. Look for Paul to at least pass Carson and Trump at some point possibly early next year only to fade well before the finish line.

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