They are discussing the Yugoslavian civil war from the early and mid 1990s probably in 1993-94. In the early days of the Clinton Administration right before America and Europe got involved in the Yugoslavian civil war. In September, 1995 and they were debating exactly if anything could be done about the situation in Yugoslavia.
Pre-1995, it was very hard to say what exactly was the Bill Clinton Administration’s foreign policy. There really wasn’t anything that could be called the Clinton Doctrine back then. Part of that had to do with Bill Clinton’s lack of foreign policy experience. And the other part had to do with the ending of the Cold War. And Russia now basically a developing country without much of a military that could really threaten anyone outside the European Union. And a failing economy trying to become a private enterprise economy and move away from Marxism. America was on top militarily and everything else. The question now became what is our role in the world.
This is really interesting, because Phil Donahue is about as left-wing, or Far-Left as anyone could be short of being a Marxist. And he’s making the liberal internationalist argument here that America and Europe should act to save the Bosnians and Croats, from being murdered by the Serbians. Who were still in control in Belgrade and running Yugoslavia. Instead of making the dovish argument that, ‘this is none of our business and if we were to act militarily, more innocent people would just get killed.’ Instead Donahue was making the liberal hawkish smart power argument here. With Professor Noam Chomsky essentially saying there no positive options here.
As far as the Vietnam War. I’m against that even though America was officially out of Vietnam before I was born in 1975. And I was born in 1975 just after that war was over. But this is where I disagree with Professor Chomsky on this. America went into Vietnam to assist and then later unfortunately fight the Vietnam War for the Democratic South against the Communist North. We didn’t invade Vietnam. The South wanted our help and resources and for us to be there. And unfortunately we did that instead of building up the South so they could defeat the North themselves.
It sounds like to me anyway and Donahue and Vladimir Pozner saw this as well, that Professor Chomsky was making an argument here that America really doesn’t have a free media. Meaning we don’t have a private media, because we have a corporate media. And even arguing that the corporate media are really just agents of the propagandists in government. I mean of course we have a private media that is separate from government. And they report things that goes against the government. Meaning the current administration all the time. Whether it is a Democratic or Republican administration.