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. Crockett

    Enjoying the feast of the thirteen fishes. Hope you are too. Leave your evilness and wickedness in your closet for tonight ....oh yee hindu India people. Today we celebrate.

    December 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  2. Blue Saffron☼

    Although related, Hinduism and Hindutva are different. Hinduism is a cult while H indutva is a f a s c i s t political ideology idiolized by majority of Hindus (Hindu Talibans).

    In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in violent attacks on
    Christians in India, often perpetrated by Hindu Nationalists/Hindu Talibans.
    The acts of violence include arson of churches, re-conversion of Christians to Hinduism, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, raiping of nuns, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries.

    And yet we welcome them with open arms. We need to rethink. Deport them. Convert them.

    December 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron☼

      The news today of forced conversions of Christians to Hinduism in India has shook us up to the core. It is evil.

      December 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        Yes. Reminds one of entire crews of illegal Mexicans converting to Mormonism for job security with Elder Mormon employers. And African workers purchased by southerners who converted to Christianity in hopes of less severe beatings from Christian owners and fewer raypes of younger daughters.

        December 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
    • Philip

      What's wrong with burning bibles? Americans are famous for book burnings. Not to mention burning the flag.
      America needs to tidy herself up a bit before she goes pointing her snooty fat finger at others.

      December 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  3. Philip

    @Chrissy. Don't shat yourself. I've lived life to the full. Get a clue.

    December 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      ...and stop melting already. Lmao

      December 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  4. Philip

    What needs to end is organized religion. And that is what is happening. All over the world, including here in the USA, governments are turning on religions no longer needed for the sake of recruiting troops. Millions are unemployed and so gladly join the military to have a job.
    Governments really have no need for organized religions anymore. Organized religions divide us worse than national boundary lines do.

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

    I agree @ crockett, evil and wickedness needs to be left in the closet for at least today! Well said!

    December 25, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  6. Philip

    What is Fareed's take on the NSA/CIA hacking intel from US citizens illegally for years and would still be getting away with it if not for Eric Snowden/Wikileaks blowing the whistle.

    December 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  7. Philip

    When an American Indian converts to Christianity, tribal chiefs and medicine men are exposed as charlatans conspiring to make people think using drugs prescribed by the medicine man are approved by the Great Spirit in the sky. The convert knows better.
    When a Christian leaves The Church, priests and medical doctors are exposed doing the same.

    December 25, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      My real grandfather on my mothers side was a Native American Indian. Is why I am particularly interested in why Indians convert to Christianity. And why millions of Christians have left The Church exposed as a charlatan.

      December 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron☼

    Forceful conversions is not acceptable.

    December 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Reply
    • Hillbilly Blue Saffron

      I agree. Yet millions of Christians force even their own small children to adopt the Christian religion. Some on the day of the child being born!
      This must end.

      December 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Black Saffron

      Dat be right cuz. My mamaw be whoppin' me upside the head with her rolling pin and my daddy takin' a strap to my ass if I skipped Sunday school.

      December 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Reply
      • Hillbilly Blue Saffron

        Well hay thar cousin Blackbilly. How's my sister doing I mean my maw. Ain't seen her since your dad forced her to convert back to boo doo.

        December 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
  9. True Black History

    The most common family names of Arab-African slave masters who purchased humans from crooked tribal leaders and then sold them to Arab Muslims were Barack, Hussein, and Obama. Voo doo slaves were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death and is why so many millions of black people came to be Muslim. Raised in families with patriarchs who were forced to convert and so Islam became the religion handed down from one generation to the next.

    December 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  10. True Black History

    George W. Bush, a white man, is a blood relative of Colin Powell, a black man. (

    December 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  11. True Black History

    Many black Americans can trace their family line all the way back to the White House when Thomas Jefferson was breeding slave girls, at

    December 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  12. True Black History

    Colin Powel, a black man, is a blood relative of the Queen of England, a white woman. (

    December 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  13. Philip

    How to pizz off a Jew: Remind him that Moses was married to a black woman.

    December 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  14. Blue Saffron☼

    We will never condone forceful conversions. Kapiche'? Good

    December 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Forceful conversions are totally acceptable to the majority of Americans, you knumbskull. You ain't going to get any sympathy from US. Most US Christians force their own children to become Christians. Some even baptize newborn babies! I'm NOT making this up, either.

      December 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        And don't use any grotesque words assaulting me for exposing people who are only a certain religion because they were born into it...brainwashed from the time they were kids to believe this or that. I'm eating my Xmass dinner, a fav of mine. Quaker instant oatmeal.

        December 25, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  15. Philip

    I was raised by hedonists...pleasure seekers who had one dusty old bible and a bedroom closet filled with poryography. So I rebelled and dusted-off that old bible and started to believe in Christ as King...and was punished for it. I wasn't allowed to go with my family on Christmas vacation after I began converting from hedonism that I was born into to Christianity as a boy. To this day my family scoff at me for not becoming rich and pursuing pleasures as they do.

    December 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  16. Philip

    No matter if it's forced conversion by the sword or slow manipulative conversion using sly words on young children it's all the same. The end result is EXACTLY the same.

    December 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  17. rupert

    Philip has left the building, ladies and gentlemen.
    ..Philip has left the building.

    December 25, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      No he hasn't, boys and girls. No, he hasn't.

      December 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        ...he's even here in spades.

        December 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
  18. Philip

    Yes I have.
    Thank you. Thank you very much.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      No, I haven't. Plus I'm blue now.

      December 25, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  19. Bullwinkle

    Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rupert out of the toilet bowl. Nothing up my sleeve...

    December 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  20. Dr.Phil

    False alarm, ma'am. A nurse noticed he had eyes and so did not flush your little rupert.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  21. Pet Store

    Oh. None of these doggies like my little rupert.
    "No problem, ma'am. Just tie this bone around his neck. Maybe they will play with him then"

    December 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  22. Planned Parenthood

    We've got some bad news, ma'am. Little rupert survived.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  23. Baby Ward

    Oh. That. Well, ma'am. Little rupert only stops crying if we shove a pacifier up his butt.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  24. Rupert

    @8:46..My troll.Once again I see you dragging my name into the ground. Well little man, you are a disgrace. You have no self-respect and obviously lack social skills which is evident in your many posts. I hope that one day you will reflect on your undesirable childish behavior. If you wish to alienate me, you have done a marvelous job.

    Now, that being said. I wholeheartedly agree with the article that North Korea's leader truly is comical, and not only by his actions, but by his clumsy appearance as well.
    On the other hand, Al Quada is anything but comical. Truly vicious.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      "Al Quida" is a figment of your imagination, Boko Haram is a covert CIA operation, and ISIS/ISIL are Muslim Brotherhood militants backed by your leaders who have lost in takeover attempts of Egypt and Syria, and are currently acting like they are trying to take over Iraq. Israel is their ultimate goal.

      December 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  25. Pitter Patter

    Dang it, rupert. How many times do me and your mother have to tell you to stop doing that! You're going to go blind, son!
    "Honest dad. I was only going to keep doing it till I needed glasses"

    December 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      ...or Viagra. Whichever came second.

      December 25, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  26. Rupert

    I see a number of attacks coming toward me because of my troll. So be it.
    Little rupert has repeatedly tried to make me change my screen name. But I refuse to give in to troll extortion.
    Good night to all of you misguided souls.
    And @ my troll, you will never win. I will never cave in to a troll.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Hey. Dream up some more international terror groups in your sleep and tell us all about them in the morning.
      Good night, fake rupert.

      December 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  27. Rupert

    Pardon me, one last thought before I retire for the night.
    ISIS threatens us with the lives of captured individuals. Most of whom end up dead.
    But North Korea threatens us by way of a movie?
    Something to think about I suppose.

    December 25, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Oh. You mean like that fake video of a British agent dressed-up like a terrorist taking a rubber knife to a journalist's throat. You fell for that? Woa. You are dumber than little Rupert.

      December 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  28. chri§§y

    @ rupert...dont worry about it. Tis only pullup trying to entertain himself because he has some misguided notion that HE is funny! And if ever there were a perfect candidate for an abortion poster child its he!

    December 25, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      You are supposed be ignoring me, Chrissy. But you just can't help yourself, can you. You just got to open that big fat mouth of yours in my direction. Helpless little woman.

      December 25, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  29. Team America: World Police!

    I'm so ronery, so ronery, so ronery and sadry arone
    Dere's no one, just me onry, sitting on my rittle throne
    I work rearry hard and make up great prans
    But nobody ristens no one understands
    Seems rike no one takes me seriorousry
    And so, I'm ronery, a ritter ronery, poor rittle me

    There's nobody, I can rerate to, feer rike a bird in a cage
    It's kind of sirry, but no rearry, because it's firring my body with rage
    I'm the smartest most crever most physicry fit
    But nobody else seems to reararize it
    When I change the rorld maybe they'll notice me
    But until then, I'll just be ronery
    Yeah, a rittle ronery, poor rittle me
    I'm so ronery

    Read more: Various Artists – I'm So Ronery Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    December 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  30. Philip

    Interesting. On CNN today a story of The Pentagon supposedly informing president Obama that "ISIL" is more powerful than the US armed forces. And people will actually believe it to be true. Amazing how gullible Americans are these days.

    December 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      "ISIS/ISIL" are Muslim Brotherhood militants backed by your leaders according to US Military intel whistle blowers. But you believe TV talking heads. Dummies!

      December 25, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Reply
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