Wiretap: As Iranian protesters dig in, history says change won’t come easily or soon

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about protest movements in the Middle East, writes Karim Sadjadpour in The Atlantic, it’s that they face daunting odds and rarely see happy endings. Although the protesters in Iran face the same kinds of odds, opposing a heavily armed government practiced in repression, they are out in force. But Sadjadpour warns that change will not come easily, peacefully or soon.

As the protests spread, the Iranian government is beginning to warn of a crackdown and protesters seem to be digging in. Via The New York Times.

As the year began, many of us tried to predict what 2017 would mean to America, but I doubt if anyone expected that maybe the most effective history of the year could be told in Trumpian tweets. Via Vox.

Which 2020 Democratic presidential candidate won 2017 — Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, Biden, Booker, Harris, Murphy et al? According to Politico: None of them.

It is now officially 50 years since 1968, the year that shook America and shook the world — the King and Kennedy assassinations, the riots, the Tet Offensive, My Lai, Johnson, Nixon, Paris, Prague Spring, Mexico City Olympics and on and on — and the reverberations that are still very much felt today. Via The Washington Post.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un has made a surprising overture to South Korea, calling for bilateral meetings between the two Koreas, hoping to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States. Maybe even more surprising, some people think it could work. Via The New York Times.

From The National Review, an admission they were wrong about New York City’s decision to end its stop-and-frisk policy. Many conservatives predicted the crime rate would rise. In fact, the rate fell dramatically.

The presidency managed to survive the Watergate, Iran-Contra and Clinton scandals. But whether it can survive Donald Trump is another matter altogether. Via The Washington Post.

Benjamin Wittes writes in Lawfare that Trump’s attack on the “deep state” is everything we predicted it would be. What’s surprising, to this point, is how well the American democracy has responded. But, of course, we’re not yet a year in.

A question as we begin the new year: Does Trump really not know the difference between climate and weather or is it just something he says on the Twitter machine? Via CNN.


Photo, from 2009 protests in Iran, by Jeremy Hunsinger via Flickr: Creative Commons