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

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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)


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Peter 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… Read more »

Peter, 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… Read more »

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?

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.

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’.