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
By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Editor's note: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are the authors of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. This is the first in a series of three guest posts.
One of the mistakes we make is that we mostly give to those who ask. And those groups that are good at asking aren’t necessarily the same ones that are good at spending. So we wrote A Path Appears partly to highlight some great organizations that are doing a remarkable job sprinkling opportunity worldwide – whether that’s through empowering women, chipping away at poverty, or bolstering health and education.
We would never buy a television from a marketer who cold calls us on the telephone. Yet remarkably often we donate to cold callers from charities, even though we know nothing about the charity. The caller drops key words like “children with cancer” or “disabled veterans” and we are guilt-tripped into donating, even though we know nothing about the organization or even if it’s a genuine charity. So try to think of charitable giving as an investment, indeed one that can have a greater impact than money flowing into your retirement. For charitable donations can save lives, and turn kids’ trajectories around. FULL POST
Fareed speaks with Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton about the controversy over the movie 'The Interview.' Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. on CNN.
Would you make the movie again?
Yeah, I would make the movie again. I think, you know, for the same reasons we made it in the first place. It was a funny comedy. It served as political satire. I think we would have made the movie again. I, knowing what I know now, we might have done something slightly differently. But I think a lot of events have overtaken us in a way that we had no control over – over the facts.
And you’re saying you still want the public to see this movie?
We would still like the public to see this movie. Absolutely.
On GPS this Sunday: First, speaks with Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton about the controversy over the movie 'The Interview' and allegations that North Korea was behind the hacking of the company.
“I think actually the unfortunate part is, in this instance, the president, the press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened,” Lynton says. “We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters.”
Next, it has been a dramatic week in world affairs – and it’s not just about North Korea. There was the unexpected news about Cuban-American relations, the collapse of the Russian ruble, and the shocking attack at a school in Pakistan.
Fareed convenes a panel of top analysts including New America Foundation President Anne-Marie Slaughter, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, Rana Foroohar, Time's assistant managing editor for economics, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens.
Why not release it online in some form or the other – video on demand?
There are a number of options open to us and we have considered those and are considering them. As it stands right now, while there have been a number of suggestions that we go out there and deliver this movie digitally or through VOD, there hasn’t been one major VOD – video on demand distributor – one major e-commerce site that has stepped forward and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us.
Again, we don’t have that direct interface with the American public, so we need to go through an intermediary to do that.
Fareed speaks with Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton about the controversy over the movie 'The Interview'. Watch the full discussion tonight on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 p.m. or Sunday on GPS, at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.
The President says Sony made a mistake in pulling the film. Did you make a mistake?
No. I think actually the unfortunate part is, in this instance, the President, the press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened. We do not own movie theaters. We can’t determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters.
So, to sort of rehearse for a moment the sequence of events, we experienced the worst cyberattack in American history and persevered for three and a half weeks under enormous stress and enormous difficulty. And all with the effort of trying to keep our business up and running and get this movie out into the public. FULL POST
Why does a terrorist threat from North Korea produce appeasement, whereas threats from Islamic terrorists produce courage, defiance and resilience? I suspect 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 abducted thousands of people from neighboring countries following the Korean War, allowed 1 million to 2 million of its own people to starve in a famine in the 1990s and currentlyimprisons about 100,000 people in labor camps. The United Nations appointed a panel to investigate the human rights situation in North Korea;its report, released in February, paints a picture of a regime that has no parallel in the scale of its systematic cruelty and oppression.
Read the Washington Post column
For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN
When I went to Tehran in 2011 to interview then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, relations with the U.S. were at a low, and distrust between the two nations was at a high. So it was unsurprising that Iran's leader played to type perfectly, spouting nasty rhetoric when he sat down with me.
What was surprising was the stance of the ordinary people – Iranians on the street, in cafes, at my hotel – who expressed an admiration for America and an interest in improving relations across the board.
But not everybody gets the chance to travel to Iran and meet the locals as I did. Well, we found the next best thing. Inside an art gallery in downtown Manhattan sits a large, golden box. It may look like a fancy shipping container, but enter and you'll discover it is actually a "portal" to Iran.
The artist Amar Bakshi, a former GPS producer, set up a web-connected camera in New York and partnered with an artist to do the same in Tehran, enabling face-to-face conversations between people who would not otherwise meet. Despite being 6,000 miles and a world apart, participants can easily slide into conversation with each other about their daily lives. Some even demonstrate their passions, like this dance.
I went into the portal and spoke with several Iranians about their lives and their country and how they see the U.S. Perhaps President Obama and Rouhani should meet this way – call it a diplomatic dance.
America was at a disadvantage compared to the Soviet Union, it was said, because it had to operate with its hands tied behind its back, with Congressional interference, media exposure and all the other trappings of a democracy. Moscow, on the other hand, could act speedily, effectively, lethally and in secret.
In fact, the Soviet Union pursued an utterly disastrous foreign policy. It so brutally suppressed its "allies" that by the 1980s, it was encircled by a group of countries in Eastern Europe that had become deeply hostile to it. It pursued an arms race with the United States that by some estimates consumed 10 to 20 percent of its GDP. It invaded Afghanistan and bled itself dry in a war it could not admit it had lost.
All these flaws were the product of a closed system with no checks and balances.
Fareed speaks with Naftali Bennett, economic minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet and the leader of the Jewish Home party, about a proposed Jewish nation state law. Watch the video for the full interview.
OK, I've got to ask you about this new proposed law in Israel, which would specify that Israel is a nation for Jews. That, in a sense, would give being Jewish a kind of privileged status. There are a number of people within Israel, there are a number of American Jewish supporters of Israel who believe that this is a terrible mistake. What do you believe?
It's been distorted. It's really simple. Israel is a democratic state and a Jewish state. It's the state of the Jewish people, of the Jewish nation. Now, we don't have a constitution, but about 20 years ago, the constitution has begun to get formed by piecemeal, by a law-by-law.
So we only have the democratic side legislated. So the idea is that to rebalance it so it's both a democratic state and a Jewish state. We will continue to provide full equal rights to all Arabs in Israel. In fact, I'm...
But what does it mean to an Israeli-Arab who is a citizen of Israel to have in the constitution it say that Israel is, you know, a state principally for Jews, that its character, its identity...
…is one that they can never partake in.
No, they can partake in it, but they have to understand that if they desire to have their own state within a state, that's unacceptable, because they have 23 countries. The Arabs have 23 states. We only have one. In fact, in the whole world, the Jews only have one state and that's all we need. But it's got to be the Jewish state.
Fareed speaks with Naftali Bennett, the economic minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, about Iran's nuclear program. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
Iran - you have said that you thought a bad deal would lead to war, but a good deal could lead to peace. So the question is, do you regard the deal that is under discussion as a good deal or a bad deal?
From what we can tell, the area where they seem to be at right now is that Iran would go from about 19,000 centrifuges to somewhere in the range of between 5,000 and 7,000 or 8,000 centrifuges. Is that a sufficient reduction which would lengthen the lead time before Iran could potentially do something which can make them produce weapons grade uranium?
That's a very bad deal. Iran doesn't need one centrifuge. Canada has nuclear energy. Spain has nuclear energy. Switzerland has nuclear energy and they don't enrich uranium. You don't need to enrich uranium in order to use nuclear energy. You enrich uranium in order to produce a bomb. That's why the U.N. Security Council came out with six consecutive resolutions that they should have not one centrifuge.
And suddenly we're caving in to their whims, especially when Iran is on the floor. They're under a significant economic pressure. It's working. So when something works, you don't let it up. Quite the contrary. That's the point in negotiation where you insist, and, in fact, reinforce the sanctions. And we just want one simple thing – no enrichment within Iran. You can have all the nuclear energy you want for any peaceful uses, but no enrichment so you can't acquire a nuclear weapon. FULL POST
Fareed speaks with Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, about the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
Do you believe that the release of this report will incite a certain, a greater degree of anti-Americanism among radicalized youth in the Middle East, for example?
I don’t think so, no. In fact, I think what it will do is that it would suggest that at least America’s attempting to be open, at least it’s trying to make some confessions in public. I know that there’s no sense that there’s going to be any prosecutions, but at least America’s come clean and is setting a record, a standard, for other countries to follow. We know there are at least 54 countries involved. What did Britain do? What did Pakistan do? What did Syria do? What did Egypt do? All of these countries, they also now have a template to follow.
And let’s remember that people were already being dressed in orange suits and executed in Iraq in 2005 and in 2014. And this was well before any of these details came about.
The fact is that the occupation of Iraq, of Afghanistan, the torture program, was well known all around the world. Everybody was talking about it. So I don’t think there will be any particular reaction to this specifically because of this release.
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
Every week we bring you in-depth interviews with world leaders, newsmakers and analysts who break down the world's toughest problems.
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Check out all of Fareed's Washington Post columns here:
Obama as a foreign policy president?
Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.
Hillary Clinton's truly hard choice
China's trapped transition
Obama should rethink Syria strategy
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