HBO News Blog

VICE Season Two Episode 5 Review

By Jef Dinsmore on Apr 13, 2014 to Vice


Overview: In the throes of a crippling, violent insurgency, Dagestan is Russia’s hotbed for Muslim extremism, and its jihadists have been behind many high-profile terrorist plots around the world. Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev (pictured) spent six months there the year before that deadly attack. To understand why so much terrorist activity originates in the region, and to see firstVICE_Season2Bomberhand what Tsarnaev learned during his stay, VICE heads to Dagestan to follow in terrorists’ footsteps. The Israel-Palestinian conflict is one of the best-known and longest-standing conflicts in the world. Although the United States publicly advocates a two-state solution, it also remains Israel’s biggest ally. While significant American support comes from a strong, wealthy Jewish lobby, in terms of sheer numbers, Evangelical Christians in the heart of the Bible Belt are Israel’s strongest supporters. VICE uncovers the rationale behind Evangelical support for the Jewish state.

Expectations: I am looking forward to both reports in this installment because the more I mull over the sentences above the more intrigued I am to discover the connections between both young Mr. Tsarnaev & Dagestan and Evangelicals with Israel. I know it is crazy, but that is the way your mind thinks when VICE is a part of your mindset. I don’t remember all the specifics revolving around Tsarnaev and the bombings, though I do know from the surviving younger brother that it was for Islam. How influential was Dagestan in getting Tamerlan into such a state as to carry out the bombing? What kind of indoctrination or brainwashing occurs there? I realize this piece is likely not to spell out the specifics of what happened to our Boston bomber while he was there, but I am expecting to see how the extremism of the region could shape a mind like his – thus maVICE_Season2Evangelking the needed connection we seek. The intel we have on the second segment is a bit vague. Just what is the connection between Evangelical Christians and Israel? What is the agenda and what is the benefit for the Bible Belt bunch? Why is it important that they support the existence of the Jewish homeland? It has to be more than for some holy religious reason, doesn’t it? Why should it matter to us or U. S. that they do back the country? This subject ends up raising more and more questions and that is okay. I like it when such issues are provocative enough to stir my thoughts this way. I trust that all will be revealed in a concisely worded manner in the course of one half hour. It is time to watch Episode 5 of VICE.

Gut Reaction:  Up first is Terrorist University reported by VICE co-founder Shane Smith.

 I’m sorry but holy fuck. Dagestan, my friends, is one of the scariest places on this planet. It is quite easy to see how Tsarnaev could have been brainwashed into nefarious deeds in the name of Islam. And to think that his next target was to be Times Square. As the footage proves Boston was not the only place violently hit for bombs have shook in many other locales around the globe at the hand of the “Terrorist University.” The connection between militant Dagestan and the Boston Bomber has become clear and has proved a bit disturbing.

And if a viewer of this piece is not shocked enough by the radicalism festering here the fact that the police forces and the extremists are caught up in a vicious cycle that seems unyielding will. A large part of the drive and the relentlessness of these militants are fuVICE_Season2TerrorFootageeled by the torturous and unjust treatment by authority.The one former police personnel interviewed seem to be the only one who gets it. The police are corrupt and fueling much of the anger and it is getting so out of hand in this powder keg that repercussions are felt around the world. If the one side lessens will the other?

Sadly, that is not a likely solution. The ‘perfect storm’ as Shane Smith calls it will roil and grow and the rest of us will have to be on the lookout for the danger it throws our way. This is one of the best segments so far this season. Did they purposely air it near the running of the 2014 Boston Marathon?



Armageddon Now reported by correspondent Thomas Morton.

Whoa, I missed the mark with this one. I was reaching way deeper than I needed to here because, it turns out, the connection I was seeking was a simple one. Born Again Christians are just out for religious purpose. Wrap your mind around this one friends -they encourage Israel’s dominance in the long contested land dispute so that they can do their part in hurrying along the Second CominVICE_Season2Armageddong of Christ and Armageddon. Someone has to see the Book of Revelations comes to pass and who better than these fervent faithfuls.

People can freely donate money wherever they want but, in this case, it seems that they are inadvertently helping themselves by supporting Israel. In doing so it fulfills their religious agenda. Now I don’t want to knock the faithful, but for those not embracing the teachings and the doctrine this seems rather odd and amusing. Nor am I going to pull some Bill Maher anti-religion rant here but, do we really need to speed up the clock to start the Endtime? What’s the fucking rush; let’s have the existing coastlines encroach first or see the next mass extinction play out before we get to that.

I also don’t want to just wipe my hands of the matter and make small of it but, isn’t it time for some good news around the globe? How about starting with Palestine and Israel just working it out already? I know, another unlikely scenario.


In Conclusion: As I stated in Expectations I was eager to make the connections that both of these segments were talking about. That was accomplished. Not only were those discussed connections made but another one surfaced. It is the one made between the separate reports here; the extreme lengths religious bodies will go to drive their agenda home. One is diligent is converting the world to Islam or see it crumble and the other is preaching that the Holy Bible will play out its endgame as written and we should do our part to make it so. A fascinating half hour like only VICE can bring it.



I’m glad Shane Smith was able to get into Dagestan and talk to the several people he did in this one. It proved a great piece and covered all sides of the story. This is one you should not miss.

 I’m sorry but I still chuckle about this one. I like the comment Thomas points out that the Israeli gladly take what money is donated to them; you know, don’t look a gift horse or Christian in the mouth..or something like that.

 Check out Episode 5 of VICE on HBO or on HBOGO; you won’t believe it. Here is a look at the upcoming Episode 6 coming Friday, 04.18 at 11:00pm. Peace.


  • abc

    why is it blocked in Germany ? it the first time it fore me with vice.

Find an HBO Series

More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch The Leftovers Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online