December 23rd, 2014
12:46 AM ET

Mistakes made over 'The Interview' response

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

Why does a terrorist threat from North Korea produce appeasement and indifference whereas threats from Islamic terrorists produce courage, and defiance, and resilience? I suspect that it's because we are fully aware of the barbarism of Jihadi terrorists.

But we tend to think of North Korea in somewhat comical terms – the odd dictators with their strange haircuts, the weird synchronized mass-adulation in stadiums, the retro-propaganda and rhetoric.

In fact, North Korea is one of the world's most repressive and brutal dictatorships. Estimates are that it allowed one to two million of its own people to starve in a famine in the 1990s. The United Nations says that North Korea abducted thousands of people from neighboring countries following the Korean War and currently imprisons about 100,000 people in brutal labor camps. That statistic comes from a U.N. panel commissioned to investigate the human rights situation in North Korea. Its report, released in February, paints a picture of a regime that really has no parallel in the scale of its cruelty and oppression.

The challenge that movie studios and theaters face is real because they have to balance the issue of freedom of expression with safety and commerce.

But they have made a mistake.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

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soundoff (437 Responses)
  1. El Conquistador

    Felices Fiestas !

    Felix Navidad !

    ENJOY Amigos !!!!!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  2. Chappel H

    Love you all.
    Be Happy!

    Thanks and all the best Cristobal, Blue Saffron, Hannah. See you around.

    December 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  3. Better Tomorrow

    Merry Christmas !!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  4. rupert

    Happy Christmas!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  5. Bo Burnside

    Merry Christmas ya'll !!!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  6. Igor

    Schastlivogo Rozhdestva

    December 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  7. banasy©

    Happy Holidays people

    December 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  8. chri§§y

    Lol. Did ya get my pigeon mail banasy?
    Jhinga Bells!

    December 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  9. Gustav

    Felicidad

    December 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  10. Sky Hi

    Buon Natale !

    December 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  11. Daddy's Joy

    Yeehaw

    December 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Wishing happy turn of the year greetings to the trolls.

    December 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  13. LuxVeritasMea

    North Korea is an extreme version of the collectivist, totalitarian tendencies also visible in South Korea. The North Korea regime and Kim Jung Un have their counterparts in South Korea's chaebol groups which have captured the press, politicians, and the bureaucrats in Seoul. Look no farther than South Korea in order to grasp the repressive tendencies of these societies, north and south.

    December 25, 2014 at 1:21 am | Reply
  14. Blue Sapphire

    As we approach the New Year and some celebrate Christmas, I take this opportunity of thanking @Blue Saffron and many others for cleaning up these forums by their relentless efforts. As you will note, most of the comments posted today are civilized and devoid of pettiness. Good riddance. Mission Accomplished ! Of course remnant backlash is to be expected and we must remain vigilant.

    Widhing you all Happy Holidays and a very prosperous New Year.

    CHEERS !

    December 25, 2014 at 1:22 am | Reply
  15. Seth

    Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.
    Kudos to all for making comments that are relevant and respectful.

    December 25, 2014 at 5:48 am | Reply
  16. Aiden Buford

    Ya'll Season's Greetings.
    Much thanks @Blue Saffron for cleaning this place up.

    December 25, 2014 at 6:03 am | Reply
  17. Cow in a Bottle ©

    Merry #Christmas...
    Hope you have great day.

    December 25, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply
  18. Black Betsy

    Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

    December 25, 2014 at 9:36 am | Reply
  19. ShiningStar

    Holiday wishes to all friends.
    A Very Merry Christmas.

    December 25, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  20. Philip

    Have a good one, folks.

    December 25, 2014 at 11:03 am | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    Merry christmas troll! Please in the future DONT steal my name AGAIN!

    December 25, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
  22. T§et§e

    Happy Holidays.
    @Canary is back with usual trashy talk. Go away. It was much nicer and gentler without.
    HELP !! Blue Saffron. Messiah that you are! Lol

    December 25, 2014 at 11:33 am | Reply
  23. El “the boss” Jefe ♠

    I agree with the Pope. The forceful conversions of Christains to hinduism in India is unacceptable. This must stop.

    Merry Christmas!! Have Fun.

    December 25, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
  24. chri§§y

    Oh yea my bad..Happy Holidays! I forgot must be politically correct! I DO wish however you ALL have the most blessed and happiest day possible! And i also wish we might see just a little snow today just to make it feel like its truly christmas!

    December 25, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
  25. rupert

    Will the following please get in touch with me:

    Blue Saffron
    Hannah
    Canton
    Black Betsey
    Shinning Star
    Cow in a Bottle
    El Jefe (mutr fkr)
    Seth
    AND THE REST OF THE MISFITS IN BLUE......
    U ALL SUKK MY BIG HAIRY B.A.L.L.S.

    December 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  26. rupert

    And merry Christmas. In H.E.L.L.

    December 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  27. El “the boss” Jefe ♠

    It is night time in India.@Bats have come out.

    December 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  28. Reprinted With Permission ©

    HAPPY WINTER FOLKS!!!!

    NEW, MORE DANGEROUS EXTREMIST HINDU GROUPS EMERGE IN INDIA!!!

    Christians concerned as rightwing factions splinter to form militant outfits.

    After more than a decade of severe persecution, India’s Christian minority is growing increasingly concerned over the mushrooming of newer and deadlier Hindu extremist groups.

    Gone are the days when Christians had to watch out only for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, which are closely linked with the most influential Hindu extremist umbrella organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh p(RSS). With voter support faltering for the RSS’s political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), moderate and extremist sections within the Hindu nationalist movement are blaming each other, and militant splinter groups have emerged.

    December 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  29. chri§§y

    Carry on fighting the forces of evil @ Super Rupert! May the force be with you cutie patootie!

    December 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Yeah. @Super Duper Rupert. Are we 12years old or what.

      December 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • rupert

        Hiiiiii chrissy. A guy's gotta relax. Blue Saffron makes a great punching bag.

        @Philip. No. I'm not 12. I'm not the one that goes around calling other bloggers "c unt" (ha! Kicking my right foot up in the air for emphasis.)

        December 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
  30. chri§§y

    Lol @ philip...well we KNOW YOU ARE! Maybe in time you will grow up one day but i know even if that happens you will still always be a hater! Too bad cuz you miss out on life that way!

    December 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Wicked Witch of the North/Mid-West

      See? Not melting. Just sagging down real bad.

      December 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Reply
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