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 (441 Responses)
  1. Philip

    If one were interested in learning how a government could control a citizenry that became fully aware of just how evil and corrupt their government is, one might want to study just how it is the North Korean government maintains crowd control.

    December 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
  2. Jimmy

    Really, @Philip? You folks in India spray kerosene and light 'em up. Not to mention gang raiping. And you dare cast your eyes on Koreans. Take a hike.

    December 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  3. Cristobal

    Good to see most of riff raffs disappear. All Gone. Lol

    December 29, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
  4. Cinna Man

    Didn't North Korea provide the nuclear and missile technology to India just as Russians are for naval ships? Hmmmm the axis of evil.

    December 30, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  5. Simone

    Yes, Cinna Man Russia built some subs for India as well but they sank parked at the berth.

    December 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
  6. Mohammed Tahseen Al Jazrawi

    Obama the monkey should apologize to North Korea for accusing them of being behind the hacking of Sony Pictures even before searching for evidence; is he dumb or what.

    December 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  7. Ram Chandar

    Shame on Obama for being trigger happy on NK. He is no more welcome in India. We have plenty of monkeys already.

    December 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
  8. rupert

    I was born and raised in the swamps of Louisiana good ole US of A. Not in stinking India. All, please note. AND I am not a raipist. Get it @Chrissy .. faux.

    December 31, 2014 at 1:10 am |
  9. Blue Saffroń

    Let’s think back and be grateful for 2014,

    For our health, and our families, and not being mean,

    For our food and our shelter, and the loves in our lives,

    Whether friends, children, trolls, lovers or wives.

    As we end this short prose, in conclusion we write:

    It is time for a change. With all its might,

    Happy New Year to all and with that its bright light.


    December 31, 2014 at 8:51 am |
    • Crockett

      Happy New year to you too. Look forward to your posts going forward.

      December 31, 2014 at 11:14 am |
  10. Hannah

    Happy New Year to All. God Bless

    December 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  11. El Conquistador

    Hello Blue, Hannah, Cristobal and ya'll. Bottoms up! Cheers!

    December 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
  12. Jack Murphy

    Finally, Sony has started reaping in the dough. At the expense of DPRK. Prosperous and healthy 2015 to all.

    December 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  13. Bo Burnside

    Thank you @Blue Saffron and many others for making these forums so much more gentler and meaningful. Happy 2015 !

    January 1, 2015 at 3:03 am |
  14. Blue Saffroń

    My vision for 2015 is of a kinder gentler world.

    Let us start with Modi who is a pariah whose legitimacy as India's leader is highly questionable. He is a murderer with genocidal tendencies. A hitler of sorts. A t hug of the lowest cadre. An usurper of women's rights and dignity. A stalker. A pedophile. He is a disgrace to South Asia. It is time for his accountability.

    I, for one, am of the stance that Modi will never be acceptable to the civilized world until and unless he surrenders to the International Court of Justice and faces trial on charges of genocide in Gujarat, India. Sense
    must prevail.

    Lastly, Agarwal's article is a testament to my thesis that India is too big to govern. It is dragging the region down. It is a malaise of satanical proportions economically, culturally and socially. It MUST be carved up into smaller independent states without further ado.

    January 1, 2015 at 7:04 am |
    • Obelisk

      Kim Jong-Un and Modi are trash from the same dumpster. They should be sent to the same landfill.

      January 1, 2015 at 9:01 am |
    • Freddy

      it is my proposal to denuclearize DPRK and India. They then need to be cut in pieces and parts given to South Korea and in case of India to China/Sri Lanka/Bangladesh/ Pakistan and Nepal.

      January 1, 2015 at 9:37 am |
  15. Cantor

    The violence in Indian-held Kashmir is the result of decades of repressive Indian policies and imposition of sham elections in the region.

    We call upon India to understand that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would accept nothing short of their right to self-determination as promised to them by the UNSC and accepted by India and the international community.

    January 1, 2015 at 10:46 am |
  16. The Beast

    Why do people from India raipe so much?

    January 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm |
    • Jimmy

      It is their culture. Their religion. Refer to Ramayana. It is like Kama Sutra without c ondoms.

      January 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm |
  17. Obelisk

    Birds of a feather flock toegether. North Koreans and Indians.

    January 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm |
  18. Steven Brooks

    So, Fareed, are you ever going to comment on the fact that you've been caught AGAIN plagiarizing the material of others?

    CNN, are you going to let this stand?

    He's a thief, folks, plain and simple, and he's done it his entire career. Shameful.

    January 2, 2015 at 9:28 pm |
  19. Na Hamano

    11/3/2016 @ 20:12:38: lorem ipsum

    November 3, 2016 at 8:12 pm |
  20. Aliyu Mantafien

    Great article sir! All your Posts are really interested. I love this great website!

    April 14, 2019 at 5:58 pm |
  21. roulette

    Best view i have ever seen !

    December 1, 2020 at 7:36 am |
  22. Wm Littlewood

    world is changing

    December 18, 2020 at 9:19 am |
  23. 카지노사이트

    I can't wait to visit Korea once this COVID-19 lockdown is lifted and we're allowed to travel again

    December 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm |
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