(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/01/nm.jpg)ISIS began the 2015 season by releasing a new prime time series of scripted reality shows available on the internet with free previews appearing on most major media outlets. Writers at Al-Furqaan and Al Hayat Media Productions, media arms of the Islamic State that are known for their slick productions, must have decided that people were getting bored with the same old series and reruns that insult America and Britain by beheading their citizens. The writers have been working on different scripts for the new season to peak the media’s interest, earn rave reviews from their fans and increase their viewing audience.
The premiere episode aired on January 12, 2015 titled “Uncovering an enemy within”, introducing a new actor, a child star, a 10-year-old boy who executes two alleged Russian spies by walking behind them and shooting them repeatedly in the head. Part horror film part drama, the show opens with the two being interrogated in Russian about their alleged attempt to infiltrate ISIS. After both men confess to infiltrating ISIS to gather information for the Russian intelligence agency FSB, the video skips to an outdoor scene where the alleged spies are kneeling in a field before a Jihadi Fighter and the new child star who is armed with a pistol.
The dramatic confessions lead to the unforgettable main lines in the film where the Jihadi fighter says, “Allah has gifted the Islamic State’s security agency with the apprehension of these two spies,”… “By Allah’s grace, they are now in the custody of the lion cubs of the Caliphate.” The jihadist then nudges the child forward. The 10-year-old calmly carries out the killings, with two close range shots to the men’s heads, followed by another two taps, representing the best and the well-trained of the boy scouts of the caliphate. This film is not as much about vengeance against the spies of the Islamic State but more of a coming-of-age story, a tale of growing-up-jihadi. This film sets the tone for the entire new season, introducing new characters, ratcheting up the violence and leaving fans anticipating future shows wondering how it can get any better than this.
The second episode of the new season was released on January 20, 2015. This film is a take on scripted reality hostage shows from the previous season, it had a similar plot, costumes and scenery, however it contains a new twist starring Japanese nationals Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa playing the leading roles deviating from Western victims. Goto, a freelance journalist, and Yukawa, a self proclaimed military operator, are the latest civilians to get their asses caught in the middle of a war, resulting in putting Japan in a bind. This episode in the new ISIS reality series is called “A Message to the Government and People of Japan”.
The storyline is a sequel to last years season where the enemies of ISIS were America and Britain and the messages were directed to President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and America. A British national continues to play the infamous main character Jihadi John, who is rumored to be up for an Emmy Award for the for Best Performance by a Leading Jihadist in the category for evading capture and drone strikes.
The January 20th episode is addressed to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Jihadi John threatens to kill both men within 72 hours unless a $200 million ransom is paid in full. The storyline makes it clear that the ransom amount is compensation for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offering non-military aid in the same amount to countries affected by the Islamic State on his tour of the Middle East. This drama poses an interesting dilemma since both Japan and the Islamic State are shame/honor societies in which saving face is more important than saving life. For this reason, this author predicts that Japan is not going to pay the ransom. It is not the cost but rather the disgrace that will prevent them from giving into the hostages demands.
Japan did not comply with hostages demands to withdraw its forces from Iraq in 2004 when Japanese citizen, 24 year old Shosei Koda was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor group of the Islamic State. On October 29, 2004 jihadists videotaped the beheading of Koda cutting off his head while he was held down on an American flag. His decapitated body was found wrapped in the flag prior to being returned to Japan.
This Japanese hostage episode has many people talking. Interestingly many comments regarding hostage taking seem to indicate that ISIS has disrespected the wrong country. That is the attitude people used to have about America prior to this administration’s decision to negotiate with jihadists by exchanging five top Taliban commanders for a traitor and not sufficiently responding to Americans being publicly beheaded. As usual the media production companies of the Islamic State leave us tense and anxious waiting to see what will happen next.
We will not know how this hostage episode turns out until the next film airs later this week. My prediction is that Jihadi John will kill both men. In fact the beheading scene may have already been filmed. Japan is about to become a member country of the ISIS beheading club. What this season requires is the revival of a classic American genre. It’s time to play cowboys and jihadists.