Grassroots Activism May Very Well Kill the Iran Deal
As one of the organizers of the recently historic Stop Iran Rally in Times Square on July 22nd, I dedicated almost one month of my time to ensure its success. I was honored to work with an unbelievably dedicated group of passionate, selfless individuals who also turned their personal and professional lives upside down to work on the rally.
The Herculean effort included obtaining funding, amassing over 100 organizational sponsors, and assembling a diverse group of speakers -- experts, dignitaries, and public figures dedicated to preventing a nuclear Iran. The crucial task of ensuring a record-breaking turnout involved building a website, working with social media and public relations personnel, reaching out to activists and supporters across the country, and ensuring extensive media coverage. The logistical details of working with the NYPD to obtain permits and security, organizing sound, stage, and lighting, and hiring private security and an army of volunteer marshals to help distribute signs and t-shirts and ensure the safely of the attendees were of critical import. And we pulled off the largest rally in the history of Times Square with estimates of 12,000 people from all over the country in attendance for three hours. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and one of the most fulfilling projects I have ever endeavored.
In response to a reporter's question as to why take on this commitment, I explained that after watching Obama spend more than six years following through on his promise to transform America, I felt compelled to do my part to stop this catastrophic deal. Obama has not just transformed America; he has transformed the world into a much more dangerous place for humans across the globe. I could not sit back and quietly allow Iran to fulfill its promise to annihilate Israel first and then continue onto America. I am watching in horror knowing that our children and grandchildren will be living in Obama’s cataclysmically transformed and unsafe world and I need to take action.
The real question however is why every American is not activating to stop Obama’s Iran deal and why members of Congress are either supporting the deal or on the fence. Why hasn’t Chuck Schumer taken the lead to kill the deal? Sure, Schumer wants to succeed Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader, but one would think that saving the world from World War III, saving Israel and its six million Jews from a nuclear holocaust, and protecting America’s national security interests would surely outweigh any selfish political concerns. Surely Democrat representatives understand the implications that would result from not following through on the moral imperative of standing up to their president and voting down the deal.
Schumer and his Democrat colleagues in Congress seem to care more about their political careers than mankind. Perhaps Schumer and the Democrats have built nuclear bomb shelters for their families but those will not help if Iran chooses to launch an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack on the U.S. sending us back to the 16th century and resulting in the death of a vast majority of Americans. Perhaps Schumer and the Democrats who are supporting this pathetic excuse of a deal have no family and friends living in Israel who are watching in horror and amazement wondering where their strongest ally has gone and how they will survive a nuclear-armed Middle East in coming decades.
But how does one explain average American citizens who are sitting back comfortably in their living rooms watching the evening news, reading their local papers, and ignoring the world around them? How many of us have friends and neighbors buying Obama and Kerry’s lies hook, line, and sinker (Ed Lasky has chronicled many of Obama’s deceptions on the Iran deal here)? It is astounding how many people have neither learned from history dating back to Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement in 1938 or Clinton’s North Korea deal in 1994. And it is amazing to hear people who still trust Obama and how many people are excited about voting for Hillary Clinton, the worst secretary of state in U.S. history.
Perhaps all of these Democrats -- both politicians and citizens -- missed Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech after the deal was made announcing that it will not change Iran’s hatred for America amid shouts of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel that he promised would continue. Maybe, since the media basically ignored it, they did not see the photo of Khamenei holding an assault rifle while berating the “arrogant United States of America.” And perhaps they missed their peace partner’s latest tweet of an image of Obama holding a gun to his own head.
Yes, the recent Pew Research Center poll indicates that more Americans disapprove of the deal than approve and that a huge majority has little to no confidence in the Iranian regime keeping up their end of the bargain. But how many Americans have contacted their representatives, participated in a rally, or expend any effort to persuade people to activate to stop the deal before it’s too late? Too many Americans are either apathetic or defeatist. The apathetic ones will never motivate but the defeatists could perhaps be persuaded that the deal is not in fact a fait accompli and that the fat lady has yet to stand up and sing.
There is reason to be cynical about the ability to stop the deal. Obama is the king of cynicism as rumors leak that he will release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard before the vote. I also would not be surprised if one of his secret agreements with the mullahs is to release the four American hostages just before the Congressional vote. And Obama has certainly instituted a full court press pulling out the big guns in his fight to win a veto-proof majority in Congress (after first going to the UN) with his own lobbying campaigns of Jewish organizations and Congressional Democrats.
And while it is difficult not to be pessimistic about the future of our country after six and a half years of Obama in the White House, I prefer Colonel Allen West’s approach when he recently shared with me (his rally speech has gone viral and is a must watch here):
I am optimistic about the future of our Country because America has always been about exceptional greatness in dire times. It was the optimism of the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord, as well as Bunker Hill. It was the optimism of Francis Scott Key as he watched the British naval bombardment of Ft. McHenry. It was the optimism of Lincoln that preserved this Union. It was the optimism of the Doughboys that we sent "over there". It was the optimism of the indomitable American spirt that overcame the great depression and the heinous attack on Pearl Harbor. It is the relentless American optimism that enabled One World Trade Tower to rise out of the dark specter of 9-11. And in these times when we face enemies foreign and domestic who threaten our way of life -- our persistent optimism will cause us to rise and secure a brighter future for this Constitutional Republic for our children and grandchildren.
Genevieve Wood of the Heritage Foundation, who closed the rally, recently wrote, “The Iranian people may not have a voice -- but we do. Let’s use it.” It is therefore fitting that she was preceded by the esteemed Colonel Richard Kemp, who led the British forces in Afghanistan and who reminded attendees that “unless stopped, Iran will develop a nuclear bomb and Iran will use that nuclear bomb. This agreement makes war more likely.”
Ladies and gentlemen, go to your Congressmen; go to your elected representatives. Do not give them any rest; for the sake of your children, for the sake of your grandchildren who are being endowed this legacy of greater war, give your Congressmen no rest until they agree to vote against this travesty of a deal.
David Brog, Executive Director of Christians United for Israel, then took the stage and recalled the British people who “in their being tired of war, failed to recognize and respond to the threats emerging around them.” He recited T.S. Eliot’s, “The Hollow Men”:
This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends. Its not with a bang, it’s with a whimper. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s not too late. There’s still time. Do not let the world end with this whimper from our president and our secretary of state. Make sure Congress speaks up. Be bold, be brave, be loud. It’s not too late.
The rally organizers are assisting with grassroots protests across the country. Protests have been held in Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and San Diego. And since the success of the Times Square rally, we have heard from people in cities and towns across the country. We are here to help anyone interested in launching a grassroots rally in their hometown. Let us all share these great patriots’ optimism and encourage our fellow Americans to fight for our children and grandchildren.
Jewish sage and scholar, Hillel the Elder, stated millennia ago, “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" Americans have less than 60 days to make their voices heard and to do their part to save the world from a nuclear Iran. Now is the time to stop Obama and the mullahs from leading us to the point of no return.
Lauri B. Regan is the New York chapter president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth