1. It’s Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
Got that year right on the first try.
2. Today is National Creampuff Day. Does anybody really eat creampuffs? That seems like mid 20th-century food, like Jell-O mold.
On this day a century ago, Willi Graf was born.
We tend to think that Germans of the Nazi era were lockstep with Hitler and his ilk. Graf wasn’t. He was a member of the White Rose resistance, marching in protests and spreading anti-Hitler graffiti at considerable risk to his well-being.
Graf served as a medic in the army during the war – until he was arrested in 1943 for his resistance efforts. After six months in prison, he was beheaded – the Nazis being very versatile in their methods of killing people.
Here’s Evelyn Lukey’s piece on Graf that can you tell more about a real hero.
2. Willi Graf’s spiritual heirs live in Tehran and other Iranian cities where protests continued today.
They’re mostly pissed off about the economy. It reels from sanctions imposed by the United States and others for Iran’s leaders fomenting unrest throughout the Middle East. Unemployment is high and the standard of living has declined, and that kind of situation makes protestors out of the most fervent believers.
But they also are bothered by the fact that Iran is a brutal dictatorship. It imprisons opponents. It kills opponents. It supports jerks of similar mindset throughout the Middle East.
So some Iranians have taken to the streets, much as some did eight years ago to complain about the re-election of the creepy anti-Semite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. After some initial restraint, the government has cracked down – the official death toll is 21.
3. And one way supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his other pals can try to regain the upper hand is to blame the United States.
The good old USA. We are either other’s bogeyman. The Iranians haven’t forgiven us for backing the brutal Shah. We haven’t forgiven them for taking our diplomats hostage for more than a year.
A wise American politician, whether he or she be a Republican or Democrat, wouldn’t play into the Ayatollah’s hands. He or she would say nothing, or say that Iranians should resolve their differences peacefully. He or she would understand that American interference, even if it’s just words, does nothing to help moderates and reformers.
4. Then, of course, there’s Trump.
The meathead tweeted this earlier today:
The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!
First, why is pockets in quotes?
Second, now that Trump is so-called standing up to the “corrupt Iranian regime,” here’s my question:
What is the United States going to do if Khameini decides a flatbed truck with machine guns blazing is the way to stop what he’ll sell as a U.S.-supported threat to the Islamic Republic?
What is the orange-haired blowhard with the short, busy Twitter fingers going to do?
Is Trump going to act? Is he going to commit U.S. military forces to some sort of action on a government that will claim it was dealing with its own people?
We hear so much from Trump, Pence and the rest of the chickenhawks – the same asses who dragged us into Iraq for no good reason – about how we’re now standing tall against so-called radical Islam.
But if push comes to godawful shove, are Trump and his sycophants really ready to commit the sons and daughters of the United States to a conflict that can’t end well for anybody – other than, perhaps, Vladimir Putin?
The best way to support those protesting in Iran is to leave them alone. They aren’t looking for our help – in fact, the reformers accuse the U.S. of trying to take advantage of the situation.
So here’s to hoping reasonable people on both sides prevail in Iran – and that the hotheads don’t call the bluff. Doing what’s best for Willi Graf’s spiritual heirs requires listening to them carefully – and not turning them into another harvest for would-be executioners.