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The Bunyip rises to the bait

September 29th, 2002

Professor Bunyip finally takes up my invitation to defend Mark Steyn’s claim (cited approvingly by Tim Blair, Miranda Devine and others) that:
“Of the 20th century’s three global conflicts – the First, Second and Cold Wars – who was on the right side each time? Germany: one out of three. Italy: two out of three. For a perfect triple, there’s only Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.”
As I pointed out here, this is a schoolboy howler. Belgium and (most embarrassingly for Steyn) France were on the Allied side in all three conflicts, as was Greece.
The Bunyip wants to rule out my first counterexample, Belgium on the grounds that it was a neutral country which only entered the world wars when it was attacked (this also applies to Greece in WWII). Unfortunately, this defence also rules out the United States, which remained neutral in both World Wars, entering the First only after the attack on the sinking of the Lusitania with the loss of 127 American lives, and the Second only after Pearl Harbour.
Bunyip then makes a series of attacks on French perfidy, most of which have already been dealt with the comment thread of my original post. This kind of argument does nothing to save Steyn. It’s like asserting that the British were on the Japanese side in World War II, then defending the claim by saying that they surrendered cravenly at Singapore. I’ll post a link shortly with a more detailed response for those interested.
Most strangely, there’s a lot of stuff about my supposed claims about the “Anglosphere”, a concept I have never mentioned, but which is a good metaphor for the thinking of Bunyip and Steyn. “Being on the right-side” means “blindly following the English-speaking leader”. Of course, with this definition, the English-speaking countries are always right.

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