Connor’s Cry for Israel: Desperately Seeking Kilometer 101

by Steve Finefrock – [scriptwriter]

Tears flowed that evening as TV’s Cronkite nudged Israel and Egypt on a promising pathway to peace. And, it actually came to pass – one lunatic nation got a bit of sanity, and an eventual withdrawal began after the 1977 Camp David accords, returning the Sinai to Arab control, rendering Israel’s western borders significantly safer. A bit at a time, of course. Trust and verify, step by agonizing step.

My tears were salty and naïve – it seemed certain, that so much would now be possible. Such historic events can fool the foolish and wise alike. Time can make a naïve poli-sci student wiser, and even experienced, educated minds can fall prey to wishful thinking. Almost two decades later, Dennis Prager had hope for and belief in the Oslo Accords. By end of Clinton’s rain of adoring accomodationist policies toward Yasir Arafat’s thugocracy, Dennis had finally ‘gotten’ it – but so many others have not, even yet. And still yet some more.

The Egyptian-Israeli meeting at Kilometer 101 along the Sinai highway in 1973 helped achieve the 1977 accords, and ultimate withdrawal, which gave me some personal, narcissistic intellectual joy – the first-phase withdrawal line, negotiated by Kissinger, was virtually a perfect-match with my own detailed proposal in a foreign policy class focusing on the phased-withdrawal dilemma, while doing graduate work two years earlier. It’s been a long time since Kilometer 101. And twenty-four years since cyborg model 101, improved model of the 600 series, hunted Sarah Connor with an assassin’s fervency mindful of that by the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.

Along the way, Anwar Sadat was assassinated for his efforts at peace with Israel – a message not to be easily put aside, for peace-minded Arab leaders, and apologists for the ilk of Arafat & Co.

Starting the New Year after viewing James Cameron’s “Terminator” brought all this to mind – and, concomitantly reviewing the latest “History of Israel” added to the mental connection [switching from Israel, Judaeism, Islam and Muhammad makes for interesting ‘synergy’ – all this and movie-synergy too!]. “Grand Canyon” gives us a film-producer character who asserts that there is wisdom for all life’s problems, to be found in movies.

Not quite so, but sometimes the lessons are stunning. The Hollywood Freeway is also U.S. Highway 101, running alongside Tinseltown, not far from where “Terminator” was filmed. Indeed, the CBS/Studio City back-lot and adjoining Los Angeles River right-of-way was a major shooting location for “T-2” as was L.A. generally for “T-3” in time for Arnold’s ascendancy to become governator.

“T-1” opens with a title card reading: “Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight…” Soon, Sarah Connor is learning that her calm, pleasant domestic life is no more – she’s been tagged as a heroine, a ‘Khadija’ and ‘Ali’ combined for a future human resistance to cyborgs. No more quiet rides on her motor scooter. Fate has bigger plans for her buffed bod.

She tells Kyle Reese, her rescuer sent thru the time portal: “Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean, am I tough, organized? I CAN’T EVEN BALANCE MY CHECKBOOK. Look, Reese, I didn’t ask for this honor. I don’t want it, ANY of it.” Later she complains, “It’s a mistake – I didn’t do anything.” Too bad, cutie – and she was lovely, wasn’t she? Helmer Cameron took such interest in his leading lovely’s fine and fit carriage that his marriage to co-producer Gale Anne Hurd suffered its own termination. We guy-types can eagerly understand the temptation of Linda Hamilton’s peak-perkiness of breast and buns.

But like the citizens of Israel, and even of the US of A, it’s not to be a quiet life for us Americans, or Israelis. We also “didn’t do anything” to deserve this exhausting, even tiring fate of leadership. There are successors to the T-1, T-2 and T-3: real-world T-4’s out there aplenty, with ‘model series’ monikers like Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, PLO, et al – who put reality to Reese’s admonition:

“Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity. Or remorse. Or fear. And it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.”

The T-4 creature does feel fear, and is no cyborg – but it is relentless, endless, determined, focused, and will absolutely not stop until Israel is dead. Hamas might as well be made of cybernetic metals, and Hezbollah of CPU microcircuits – all who are not Muslim will be targeted, with laser-sighted weapons of whatever useful and convenient availability. [Consider that when regarding Iran’s plutonium dreams.]

Israelis who once thought things would become quieter were fooled – there are always evils present, for mankind is no angel, and there will be devils aplenty even as we erroneously believe – and want to believe – things are quiet. Time travel from the future is not required to find T-4s all around us. Ivan the Terrible, Caligula, Nero, Genghis Khan, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot: a potful of T-4s, with descendants extending into centuries yet to come.

Reese the rescuer of Sarah, and the future resistance leader’s temporal existence, tries to warn the indifferent police officials – and who can blame them, for not grasping so preposterous a claim of time travel – of the impending reality:

“You still don’t get it, do you? He’ll find her. That’s what he does. That’s all he does! You can’t stop him. He’ll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her f—ing heart out.”

Not moments later, T-1 lets the burrocratic desk sergeant know, “I’ll be back” – and crashes into the station, blazing auto-fire rendering havoc and corpses like wind-scattered movie popcorn. The first famous line of the “Terminator” series, and other Schwarzenegger issue, rings true for contemporary real-world T-4, and Israel, and those in America who think we can reason with the unreasonable. They will be back. And back, again. And BACK EVER MORE.

Shortly after the first rescue scene, Reese briefs Sarah on her vulnerability just outside the hip nightclub, insisting: “Come with me if you want to live.” In due time, she enjoys the cathartic satisfaction of terminating the T-1, in the giant hydraulic forge-press, triumphantly declaring, “You’re terminated!”

Now we have a warrior, still cute and comely, but weathered and ready to fight back. Aware fully to her core that there is a battle to be won. She is Israel. She is the USA. She is battle-ready, freshly made aware in her bones of the meaning imbedded in the message from her yet-unborn son, words quoted from the future, to her by Reese:

“Thank you, Sarah, for your courage through the dark years. I can’t help you with what you must soon face, except to say that the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist.”

All this as she has bandaged Reese’s wound, who compliments her: “Good field dressing.” Her once-girlish voice issues a hint of the future heroine:

“You like it? My first.” Of so many field dressings yet to come.

T-1 led to its cinematic sequel, T-2, then ended with T-3. But that’s Hollywood’s 101. The cinematic model-101 has ended, but not the Kilometer 101 vision. We were all fooled by the deceptively promising Oslo Accords – and you know the adage, Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, SHAME ON ME. Carter was fooled, and even Dennis Prager – a student of totalitarian thought since his earliest collegian studies. So was Clinton, but not Bush, who kept Arafat out of unseemly worshipful White House legitimizing visits. And now let us ask: Is Obama The One [OTO] fooled by T-4’s perpetual pretenses and determined deceptions?

The last lines of T-1 start with a gas station attendant translating his son’s Spanish for the desert-bound, combat-ready Khadija [Muhammad’s first wife – quite a story, forgotten by sexist Muslims who prefer different views of women – see the sequel to this piece], ready to role-play Ali [the Prophet’s right-hand swordsman, the central player of the Shia-Sunni split – see also the pending sequel] in battles still to come in the T-2 sequel:

Attendant: He said, there’s a storm coming in.
Sarah: [sighs] I know.

What do we ‘know’ for Israel? Will T-4 ever consider allowing an equivalent of Kilometer 101? Hollywood’s 101 Freeway passes thru fantasy land, as will much of OTO’s foreign policy [brace yourselves, it’s going to be a bumpy, childish ride, while OTO’s short-pants staff learn Sarah’s lessons, the hard, costly, dangerous way], before we wake up and join Sarah’s café of rich, aromatic coffee.

Call it Baghdad Café – where OTO and liberals aren’t yet smelling the coffee. T-4 is all around that café’s perimeter, determined, unyielding, ready to crush the life out of Israel. In fourteen centuries, the Holy Land has become the neighborhood of Islam’s third holiest city, behind Mecca and Medina. Baghdad and Cairo and Damascus rank behind Jerusalem’s Number Three on the Muslim pop-charts. That makes Israel into Job One of the T-4 general orders of combat.

No less a classic Jewish intellectual in foreign policy wisdom as Woody Allen once offered a humorous observation, some many years before either T-1, or the metastasizing T-4: Indeed, one day the lamb and the lion shall lie down together; but, the lamb won’t get much sleep. T-4 doesn’t sleep, and it’s many miles before another Kilometer 101 will appear in the distant cosmic skies of diplomatic universes. No rest for Sarah in the very longggg meantime.

Kilometer 101 is so far behind us, and it’s “sequel” so far in the future – centuries before we re-visit a second diplomatic Kilometer 101 landmark. Along the pathway are a battalion o’ T-4s, waiting in ambush, and tireless in their rage, and ready with eager determination to obliterate Sarah Connor – er, rather Israel.

Remember Kyle Reese’s desperate, plaintive plea, in closing:

Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Think about that, next time you rent T-1. To newly make you aware, there is a T-4 in the near and distant, maybe endless, future.

Friends of Israel: give that DVD set to your friends, and host watch-party gatherings [a la “Rocky Horror” reaction games] to drive home this point. With your salty popcorn, cry salty tears for Israel at so many prophetic scenes and propitious dialogue. Maybe send an extra DVD to OTO’s White House, and one to Hillary’s striped-pantsuit set. Next time we can remotely hope there’s a new gathering at a future ‘Kilometer 101′ will be in the Twilight Zone, of a different century, in a galaxy far, far away from today. As Reese said, we must come with him, take up his cudgel, if we want to live.

And the sequel to this essay? To start, consider this teaser, a popular Muslim historian’s quote:

“But for the wealth of Khadija and the sword of Ali, there is no Islam.”

The title of the piece: “Muhammad Was A Mensch – Until The Time Of Sorrows.”

How’s that for a teasing trailer! ExileStreet

copyright 2008 Steve Finefrock Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called “A State of the Union”], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA’s Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…

Leave a Reply