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The 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 Circus.

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 Don

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 been.

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 9/11 targets

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 of justice.

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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