Great White Hunters
Bwana Dick And Don
By Rana Bose
03 November, 2006
The Sun Sets..
There was the time when it was widely believed that the sun could not
possibly set on the British Empire. A fourth of the world was occupied
by them with supreme confidence and a self-perception of manifest destiny.
However, as time passed by, and inexplicably for the likes of some colonialist
ogres like Churchill or Disraeli before him, the sun did start setting
and Queen Victoria's dominion started unraveling, dismantling and scattering
its entrails in all directions. Half-clothed natives started running
amuck all over the pristine empire and handle-bar mustached, parasol
wielding men and women of England scurried back to their clubs, licking
their wounds, huffing and hawing about ingratitude. Even the fabled
bowling greens and playing fields went into depression. The ships' tattered
flags fluttered in the wrong direction and the sails were looking more
like the patchwork quilt on old brigs that plied the Malacca straits
a century ago, instead of the cocky Union Jack.
But they had a plan. A plan at a long term strategic level. They deftly
left behind a series of contrived and divisive messes from Suez, Palestine
and Africa to India and Pakistan, to be manipulated for years to come.
Being somewhat refined colonialists, they knew they had to leave. The
retreat was obvious. The great White Hunter Male, however, had to find
new ways to hunt, dominate and rule. They also had a handover plan.
The Great White Hunter
Now, all along this rise
and fall, literature reinforced these adventures of the Great White
Hunting Male by way of Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan
Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs and eventually as the Empire faded and
decolonization became an inescapable reality, the United States with
its "Revolutionary War" legacy, took on the responsibilities
of the Empire and the cloak of the Hunter, by other means. And of course,
dutifully there were literary geniuses from the rabidly right wing,
like Ayn Rand, the avowedly fascistic Ezra Pound, the ponderous Joseph
Conrad to even the inspirational and troubled Hemingway who followed
the enigma of the New Great White Hunter. The Hunter was being set up
now, not to seek gold, spice, adventure, money, resources, and romance
but an agenda to corner the energy, minerals and raw material sources
for the impending growth of cities, highways, autos, ships and steel
and to create the ethos of the modern civilized liberator as opposed
to the conqueror. And to enable all this, was an accompanying projection
of freedom, justice and enterprise that was deeply rooted in the settlement
philosophy of "winning the West." Crafting tales of daring
adventure of the blond-mained, blue eyed, hairless hunting hero in unknown
and inhospitable lands, it became the basis for justifying the new imperial
culture. So there was the mythologizing of Daniel Boone, Davie Crockett,
Kit Carson and the murderous Custer.
The Sun rises again..
From Crown and Country, the transition was made to Romance and Adventure
and then on to Science Fiction and Inter-Stellar domination. Imperialist
adventure spread its wings, but always with the White Hunter as its
source of inspiration. >From Fu Manchu and Gunga Din to Tarzan and
Indiana Jones and on to Star Trek, the racial stereotyping and the winning
ways of the the "Hunter" were combined. From the Khyber to
The King Solomon Mines, the Great White Hunter stereotype looked and
searched for lost wealth and then transcended into being the deliverer
of civilization and justice and is today confronting the bearded terrorist
everyday on Fox, CNN and Hollywood.
Rider Haggard is the acknowledged
master of Imperialist Adventure, with Allan Quartermain as the archetypal
cool and righteous White Hunter. Next there is Arthur Conan Doyle (Lost
World), once again seeking adventure in inhospitable terrain trying
to resolve the problem of the "savages." Then comes Edgar
Rice Burroughs and his Tarzan series. And horror of horrors! This great
White Hunter, dressed like a savage, talked like a chimpanzee and then
delivered righteous justice like he was operating right out of Piccadilly
The Great White Hunter displayed
extraordinary determination, extreme courage, was very capable with
fire-arms and also influenced indigenous people to follow him around
like the piper of Hamelin. Thus he came to symbolize not only the burden
he carried, but the cultural dominance of the great West that he considered
must triumph over the rest of the world.
Bwana Dick and Bwana
Now when Bwana Dick Cheney
shoots a fellow hunter during a quail hunt, he is not exactly following
in the footsteps of the mythical and manly Great White Hunter.He is
being a fumbling fool. And when Bwana Don Rumsfeld asks the press to
back-off, when he is caught lying, fabricating and bull-shitting his
way through the US occupation of Iraq ("banditry" as exactly
and appropriately described by Nobel prize winning playwright Harold
Pinter), he is not upholding Ayn Rand's hero either. He is behaving
like an arrogant, spoilt, indiscreet, distemperate hoodlum. But they
both believe in the tradition of the Great White Hunter as a superior
being. The justice provided by the White Hunter is superior to the justice
provided by the suicide-crazy, unpredictable Arab street-fighter, or
tribal warriors in Africa, or indigenous peasants of Oaxaca, Peru or
Bolivia and peasant guerillas in Nepal. White Hunter justice is a natural
force. It is beyond discussion and debate. That is the way it has always
From Low intensity
Intervention to total domination
There was a time when the
United States preferred "low-intensity" conflict, by using
surrogate forces. From the time of John Foster Dulles' United Fruit
Company to the Noriega-Somoza-Contra period, the US delivered the justice
of the White Hunter through covert and sometimes not so covert means.
Through assasinations, CIA-plots and even landing Marines at the invitation
of unknown thugs. There was some feigned hesitation to make massive
invasions, despite Vietnam, and attempts to exercise some restraint
in terms of direct intervention. At least there was an attempt at funnelling
people around like Oliver North to engage in subversive Iran-Contra
type affairs, carry out underhanded arms for thugs deals, even try out
folks like Chalabi or Karzai etc to stage manage affairs in certain
countries. Since Iraq and the recent experiences in the Middle East,
this has changed. The Rumsfeld-Cheney cabal and their "absolute
dominance" mentors like Rove, Perle, Krauthammer have now gone
beyond the Great White Hunter framework. Massive deployment of force,
by air, land and sea is now the standing strategy, whether it suceeds
or not. Even a pre-emptive Nuclear strike on Iran has been considered
feasible. The Great White Hunters no longer feel any necessity to even
pay heed to the Geneva convention (never mind the United Nations), there
is no remorse about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo or the half-million civilian
deaths that have occurred in Iraq.. The chain of command to carry out
atrocities goes directly to them and yet they cannot be prosecuted or
impeached.Their impunity is unassailable. They do not need any further
discussions, Kyoto is a non-starter (despite all the recent revelations
from the Stern inquiry), the International Criminal Court is a joke
for them. The world is for them to capture and rule over They smile,
smirk, joke, sneer while Bush postures, swaggers and fakes cowboy mannerisms
in front of them.
Desperately seeking targets
to retaliate in the wake of 9/11, the New Great White Hunters went looking
around and creating "state sponsors" of terrorism and lumped
Hezbollah, Hamas and others in one lot with Syria, Iran and North Korea.
None of these entities ever had anything to do with September 11. None
of these entities threatened America in any way, except by extreme extrapolation
of the great American paranoia of perceived terror.
To quote Harold Pinter, extensively-"
The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism,
demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law.
The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of
lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of
the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic
control of the Middle East masquerading - as a last resort - all other
justifications having failed to justify themselves - as liberation.
A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and
mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people. We have brought
torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random
murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it
'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'. How many people
do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer
and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would
have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned
before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been
clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice.
Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds
himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines.
But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for
prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they're interested.
It is Number 10, Downing Street, London."
Making the British Empire
look like a swell in the current , the United States now occupies 702
military installations in 132 countries in a tornado like deluge of
power. The modern Great White Hunter has perfected many political concepts
as an ideological necessity for this extraordinary international presence.
Expansion and occupation and the delivery of White Hunter justice is
based on a discrete political philosophy. It has less to do with spices,
gold , cotton and/or even oil and energy resources. It has to do with
a fundamental belief in the superiority of the Judeo-Christian ethos
of "us" being superior to "them." Of our God being
greater than their God. Of the White Hunter being a natural deliverer
Over the decades, imagined
threats, branding nationalists as terrorists or communists, branding
any resistance as anti-democratic and then combining it with a nearly
unquenchable thirst to dominate the world has become the new phiolosophy
of the Great White Hunter. International law or even the semblance of
justice has become a cropper and when its handful of allies (Israel
being the most notable enforcer –aside from the stoolie parrot/poodle
Blair) gets a bloodied nose from nationalist resistance in Lebanon or
Basra, "global terror" and the rights of the "American
people" and "civilization" are immediately and craftily
engaged and invoked to carry out a sophisticated campaign of disinformation.
Do Bwana Dick and Bwana Don
really think that the people of the world outside the United States
are really scurrying around without any heads above their shoulders,
waiting for justice to arrive from the Bible belt via the Great White
Hunter? They possibly do. In their cloistered, semi-secretive, psycho-religious
cult following that has Rush Liimbaugh, Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter as
leading cheerleaders, they do believe in the the Great White Hunter
ethos. They do believe that deliverance will come from them. They do
believe that a "crusade" is inevitable and the might of the
Great White Hunter must prevail.
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