Maybe it’s because I live near Hollywood, but most of the conversations I’ve had about the Sony hack and The Interview have focused on issues of free speech and cyber-terrorism. Everyone from President Obama on down seems intent on protecting those of us in the Free World from the monomaniacal destruction of Kim Jong Un, and justifiably so. The prospects of a genuine cyber-war are genuinely terrifying.
More and more, however, I find myself wondering why those of us in the Free World seem so blasé about protecting our fellow human beings in North Korea from the monomaniacal destruction of Kim Jong Un. I mean, we know that millions of people are being held there, suffering under terrible conditions of psychological and physical duress, by a dictatorship which does not respect their most basic human rights. We know that now in much the same way we once knew that millions of South Africans were suffering under apartheid a few decades ago.
Certainly these are very different situations, and I do not mean to suggest otherwise. All I am saying is that, both as individuals and as citizens of our respective countries, we once again stand outside a very different country, increasingly aware of the suffering inflicted by its oppressive, undemocratic government, with an obligation to at the very least simply consider what, if anything, we ought to do about it.
Besides protecting ourselves, of course, and going to the movies.