thumbnail of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Hide -
MR. LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight, the Bosnia mission, Elizabeth Farnsworth interviews Sen. McCain, then come excerpts from Congressional hearings and a discussion of why it takes the United States to make and keep peace. New information on breast cancer. Charlayne Hunter-Gault talks to Dr. Christine Byrd. And the information highway future, David Gergen has a dialogue with Bill Gates. It all follows our summary of the news this Thursday. NEWS SUMMARY
MR. LEHRER: Senate Republicans began closing ranks today behind the sending of U.S. troops to Bosnia. Majority Leader Bob Dole said on the Senate floor he would reluctantly support the President.
SEN. ROBERT DOLE, Majority Leader: I just hope we can all work together in the coming days to fashion a resolution which supports our military forces, reduces the risks they face, and brings them home as soon as possible. Now some would say, well, if you do this, you're supporting the President of the United States. I'd say, oh, that's all right with me. We have one President at a time. He is the commander in chief. He's made the decision. I don't agree with it. I think it's a mistake. We had a better option, many better options. As I said, he repeatedly rejected those options.
MR. LEHRER: Right after this News Summary, we'll have a Newsmaker interview with Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who spoke with Sen. Dole on the Senate floor today. On the House side today, two key committees heard the official pitch for sending U.S. troops to Bosnia. It came from top administration officials, including Sec. of State Christopher, Defense Sec. Perry, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Shalikashvili. We'll have excerpts from their testimony, plus more Bosnia coverage following the McCain Newsmaker. Republican and Democratic budget negotiators cancelled their talks for the next two days. They said they were deadlocked in their attempt to agree on a seven-year plan to balance the budget. Kwame Holman reports.
MR. HOLMAN: This afternoon, congressional Republicans unveiled the final version of their seven-year balanced budget, and sent it to the White House for the President's consideration, but House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged the reception the plan is likely to get when the President returns to Washington.
REP. NEWT GINGRICH, Speaker of the House: You know, obviously, the odds against his signing this are pretty steep.
MR. HOLMAN: Gingrich also complained the White House is not negotiating in good faith toward a compromise on aseven-year balanced budget.
REP. NEWT GINGRICH: The White House will not admit how much more spending they want or how much higher the taxes are they want compared to our plans.
MR. HOLMAN: That complaint was echoed by Republican negotiators late this afternoon, following a two-hour budget session with the Democrats.
SEN. PETE DOMENICI, Chairman, Budget Committee: We have a right to know what their budget looks like. They don't want to tell us. It's very hard to negotiate when you don't know what you're negotiating.
MR. HOLMAN: But White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta emerged from the meeting blaming the Republicans. LEON PANETTA, White House Chief of Staff: We have constantly said we have got to protect Medicare, we have got to protect Medicaid, education, the environment. We're not going to raise taxes on working families. Let's talk through those issues. We thought that was agreed to. Unfortunately, that's not what happened today. I hope that after a good night's sleep that the Republicans will be ready to get to work and try to see if we can resolve our differences.
MR. HOLMAN: The two sides have agreed on one thing, to take a break from negotiations and not meet again until Monday.
MR. LEHRER: The Senate Whitewater Committee decided today to ask First Lady Hillary Clinton to answer four questions in writing under oath. Committee members want to know about a phone call she might have made the day of the Vincent Foster suicide. The call was made to a Washington number from the Little Rock residence where Mrs. Clinton was staying. Investigators have been unable to determine who was called, or who did the calling.
SEN. ALFONSE D'AMATO, Chairman, Whitewater Committee: Four questions as they relate to the telephone number 202-628-7087 which will be sent to the White House to Mrs. Clinton to ask if she can identify the number or the person. Basically, we'll, after we make some typographical and grammar corrections, we'll have it available. Pardon. Oh, we have a corrected copy. Well, let's have it verified and, and we will ask that this interrogatory be undertaken by Mrs. Clinton.
SEN. PAUL SARBANES, [D] Maryland: Mr. Chairman, I appreciate we had the opportunity to consult. This is--it's obviously an unusual and unprecedented action, to send interrogatories to the First Lady, and this is an unusual situation, this particular one. We made every effort to obtain information from the sources, the telephone company and so forth, and we have not been able to get full information. So I think the interrogatories in this instance are appropriate.
MR. LEHRER: House Speaker Gingrich attacked the Federal Election Commission today. He denied an FEC charge yesterday that a Republican Political Action Committee called GOPAC violated election laws. The FEC said GOPAC, then headed by Gingrich, gave $250,000 to his reelection campaign in 1990. Until '92, GOPAC was limited by law to spending money on state and local candidates. Gingrich responded to reporters' questions this morning.
REPORTER: Did GOPAC ever contribute to your 1990 campaign?
REP. NEWT GINGRICH, Speaker of the House: No, it did not in any way.
REPORTER: Not at all?
REP. NEWT GINGRICH: And the FEC filings are false and malicious. There's an old rule. If you have the facts, pound the facts. If you have the law, pound the law. If you don't have the facts or the law, pound the table. The FEC is pounding the table. It's a false and malicious charge.
MR. LEHRER: Bill Clinton became the first American President to visit Northern Ireland today. Hundreds of well-wishers turned out to greet him and Mrs. Clinton as they arrived in Belfast. They visited both Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, shaking hands with people in the crowd. At the Mackie Engineering plant, the President was introduced by two children of plant workers.
LITTLE GIRL: My first daddy died in the troubles. It was the saddest day of my life. I still think of him. Now it is nice and peaceful. I like having peace and quiet for a change, instead of people shooting and killing. My Christmas wish is that peace and love will last in Ireland forever. Please have a safe journey back to America. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Ireland.
LITTLE GIRL AND BOY IN UNISON: And now, ladies and gentlemen, we would like to introduce the President of the United States. [applause]
PRESIDENT CLINTON: This is one of those occasions where I really feel that all that needs to be said has already been said. For 25 years now, the history of Northern Ireland has been written in the blood of its children and their parents. The cease-fire turned the page on that history. It must not be allowed to turn back.
MR. LEHRER: Later, the Clintons traveled to Londonderry. Thousands were on hand for the President's speech in the streets of the 300-year-old city. They waved British, Irish, and American flags. President Clinton told them to work together for peace. The Clintons returned to Belfast later in the day, where the President lit a Christmas tree donated by the city of Nashville, Tennessee. Fifty thousand people attended the ceremony in the square in front of City Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton will travel to the Irish capital of Dublin tomorrow. Lumpectomies are effective in treating early- stage breast cancer. That conclusion from the National Cancer Institute was published today in the "New England Journal of Medicine." The report was prompted by questions that had arisen about the reliability of a 1985 landmark study of lumpectomies. We'll have more on this story later in the program. Three days of rain have triggered heavy flooding in the Pacific Northwest. Every major river in Western Washington State has flooded, forcing hundreds to evacuate. Gov. Lowry declared a state of emergency in 14 counties. And in Northwestern Oregon, mudslides have closed sections of Highway 101 and flood warnings are issued near four rivers. A volcano in Nicaragua called Cerro Negro erupted today. It exploded in Leon, Northwest of the capital of Managua. Sand and lava covered fields, blocked roads, and contaminated wells. No injuries were reported, but thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. And that's it for the News Summary tonight. Now it's on to Sen. McCain, Bosnia hearings, the U.S. as the world's peacemakers and keepers, new word on breast cancer treatment, and Gergen and Gates. FOCUS - BOSNIA MISSION NEWSMAKER
MR. LEHRER: The Bosnia mission again leads the program tonight. Our continuing coverage begins with an important development on the Senate floor today. Elizabeth Farnsworth has that story.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole took the floor late this afternoon along with a bipartisan group of colleagues. They said they were working on a resolution that would support the administration's troop deployment in Bosnia and try to define its limits. One of the Senators joining Dole was Republican John McCain of Arizona, who had previously raised numerous questions about the deployment. He joins us now from the Senate. Thank you for being with us, Sen. McCain.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, [R] Arizona: Thank you, Elizabeth.
MS. FARNSWORTH: What has led you to move towards supporting the President in the deployment of troops in Bosnia, albeit with reservations?
SEN. McCAIN: Elizabeth, I don't support the deployment of the troops. I've accepted the fact that the troops are going. There is nothing the Congress of the United States can do in reality to stop the deployment. We could pass a block cutting off funds. The President's veto of that could clearly be sustained. So we are faced with the situation where very shortly 20,000 Americans are going to be in Bosnia. It seems to me that then if that is the case, and it clearly is, that we should then do whatever we can to make sure that that deployment is successful, that they are back in a year, and that when they leave, there is an opportunity for a lasting peace, and could I add one more point? Now that the President of the United States has committed these troops for us to, if we could, say that isn't going to happen, then I think it could have negative consequences on our credibility as a nation, on the NATO alliance, and, of course, in the view of the three parties that signed the agreement in Dayton, it could re- ignite the conflict in Bosnia. So I guess what I'm saying is I'm playing the hand that we're dealt.
MS. FARNSWORTH: What conditions do you and your colleagues hope to get in to a resolution of, of into the authorization resolution?
SEN. McCAIN: Well, Sen. Dole and I have consulted with people like Jean Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle, Brent Scowcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Zbig Brzezinski and others, and basically what we've sought is fundamentally two things. One is that our American military will be confined to purely military mission, this business of resettling refugees or nation building, or repeating the mistakes we made in places like Somalia that we just do not believe that that is a reasonable role, and we want it, their role to be confined to pure military activities. So second and probably far more important is that we believe that if there's going to be a lasting peace or, in the worlds of one of our witnesses before the Armed Services Committee, a lasting cease-fire, that there must be a battlefield of stability and parity, and as far as the military capabilities of the Bosnians are concerned. And we want the Bosnians trained, armed, and equipped, and capable of defending themselves when we leave.
MS. FARNSWORTH: How about a clear exit strategy, is that something you'll be working on too?
SEN. McCAIN: Yes, Elizabeth, but the most important part of the exit strategy would be a stable military situation in the region, so that fighting wouldn't start right away. We would envision the United States being there for a year, everything remaining quiet. If the Bosnians are very weak, then they, of course, might fall prey to an attack by the Serbs or even the Croats at some point in the not-too-distant future after the United States troops leave.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Senator, you said no non-military activities. As you understand the annexes to the peace agreement, are there non- military activities called for?
SEN. McCAIN: Well, there's a great deal of ambivalence about that, Elizabeth. The agreement, itself, calls, as you know, for resettlement of refugees, for elections, for all kinds of civilian or civil kinds of activities. And we don't object to any of that, although I think it's very unrealistic, to be honest. But we don't object to that. We just don't--we just want to make absolutely sure that American military personnel are not engaged in those kinds of activities.
MS. FARNSWORTH: In your statement on the Senate floor today, you urged your Republican colleagues to consider very carefully the institution of the presidency as they make this decision. Could you elaborate on that?
SEN. McCAIN: I absolutely will, Elizabeth, and I think this is a fundamental and important point. Thomas Jefferson sent the United States Navy, without the permission of Congress, to wipe out the Barbary Pirates. President Reagan sent Americans to invade Grenada. President Bush invaded Panama, et cetera. And as you know, President Bush made it very clear that if he did not receive authorization from Congress, he was still going into the Persian Gulf. He believed he had that constitutional authority, and by the way, I believe he does too. So I want us to consider this issue and the President's authority to commit American troops in a non- partisan fashion and to treat it exactly the same as if it were a Republican President as it is with a Democrat President. Otherwise, I think in the long run, we could show disrespect to the very document under which we function.
MS. FARNSWORTH: You also said in your statement that you recognize that you will bear some of the responsibility in the event that something goes wrong. Do you think this is important for our government, that Congress also is bearing the responsibility?
SEN. McCAIN: I do. And that's why I think the proposals I've heard that one of the--maybe the House would just say we don't vote at all, or a straight vote of disapproval, which would not be--have to be adhered to, those things, I think, might make us feel good, but I do believe that if we accept, as I said at the beginning of our conversation, that the troops are going, then it is our obligation to minimize the loss of life and do whatever we can in our best judgment to ensure that the mission is most successful. It seems to me that we abrogate our responsibilities if we don't actively engage in that effort.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Have you spoken about this with Sen. Gramm, whose campaign for the presidency, you, I think you're the national chairman of it, aren't you, and who has come out--at least he has spoken in opposition to the deployment of troops.
SEN. McCAIN: Absolutely. And I oppose the deployment as well. I don't think he agrees with this, this authorization proposal that we're working on, but Sen. Gramm and I have disagreed in the past, for example, on the issue of normalization of relations with Vietnam. But we--I'll remain his supporter and I will remain in close consultation with him on this issue.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Sen. McCain, you come to this with a very unique vantage point, having been a POW in Vietnam for so many years. I would imagine this has been difficult for you, thinking this through, and then deciding to do what you're doing now.
SEN. McCAIN: Elizabeth, could I say, first of all, I try to put that behind me and try to do what I think is in the best interest of the country. And I'll tell you candidly these phone calls and sentiment in my state are overwhelmingly against supporting this deployment. I don't support it, but I do believe that my obligation is not to take a hike on issues like these, but it is to try to do what's best. If one young American dies because we didn't do everything we could to make this very risky expedition as safe as possible, then I don't think we have a clear conscience. And I also feel that we are judged by history, not by the daily polls.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Thank you for being with us, Senator.
SEN. McCAIN: Thank you, Elizabeth. FOCUS - MAKING THE CASE
MR. LEHRER: Elsewhere on the capital today, the administration went about the job of selling the Bosnia mission. Margaret Warner reports on that.
MS. WARNER: Three top Clinton administration officials came before the House International Affairs Committee today to outline the proposed U.S. mission in Bosnia. It was the first time that administration officials had laid out the specifics of the Bosnia military operation to Congress since President Clinton announced his intention to have U.S. troops participate in a NATO peace enforcement operation. Sec. of State Warren Christopher began by arguing that American ground troops offer the only viable option for sustaining a peace in Bosnia.
WARREN CHRISTOPHER, Secretary of State: We have a fundamental choice in this situation. As the President made clear, if the United States does not participate, there will be no NATO force. And if there's no NATO force, there will be no peace in Bosnia, and the war will reignite. We know what would happen. There would be more massacres, more concentration camps, more hunger, a real threat of a wider war, and immense danger to our leadership in NATO, in Europe, and the world as a whole. Those are the alternatives that we absolutely must avoid.
MS. WARNER: Defense Sec. William Perry came armed with elaborate charts detailing the specifics of the operation. The troops would number 32,000, he said, 20,000 in Bosnia, itself, another 5,000 in Croatia, and 7,000 in neighboring countries. The cost, Perry said, would be about $2 billion.
WILLIAM PERRY, Secretary of Defense: They start going in about mid-December, assuming that the peace agreement is signed on the 14th of December, which is the present plan. They will be going in a day or so after that. Gen. Shalikashvili can describe to you in more detail the deployment plan. I will simply say it will be a rapid deployment.
MS. WARNER: Perry insisted that all steps were being taken to minimize the risk to the U.S. forces and to limit the scope of their mission.
SEC. WILLIAM PERRY: We will not repeat the mistakes of the UN force which is in Bosnia, which allowed itself to get pushed around, which allowed itself to have its freedom of movement curtailed. Our troops will be sufficient size, sufficiently well armed, and sufficiently well trained and with sufficiently strong rules of engagement that they will be able to carry out this mission.
MS. WARNER: Still, committee Republicans were skeptical.
REP. ELTON GALLEGLY, [R] California: Gentlemen, I have here about 140 letters that have come in since the President's speech opposing the use of ground forces by my constituents. I have two letters from my constituents supporting it. What do I tell them when they say we can't control the peace on our streets in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, across this country, with the murders and killings going on, yet we can go to the foreign soil and put our young men in harm's way in a no-win situation?
REP. TOBY ROTH, [R] Wisconsin: The President has said that we, unfortunately, can expect casualties. From the studies you do in the Pentagon on the different scenarios, could you give us some idea of what kind of casualties we can expect, because that's the greatest concern we have on this committee and in the Congress.
SEC. WILLIAM PERRY: There are no models for casualty in this kind of an operation. And anybody that represents to you that the casualties will be such and such is misrepresenting, I think, is extending his information farther than the data will support.
REP. TOBY ROTH: I want to ask you very seriously, Mr. Secretary, because many of us were around at the time of Vietnam, do you really, really, really, deep down in your heart, feel this is doable? I don't want to go through the McNamara experience again, where a Secretary of Defense comes and says, I knew at the very beginning it wasn't doable.
SEC. WILLIAM PERRY: It's an easy answer, because it's the same as my official position. Yes, I believe it's doable. If I did not believe it were doable, I would not be representing that to you. I would leave my job before I would come over and tell the Congress something I didn't believe on an issue this important.
MS. WARNER: This afternoon, the three Clinton officials went before the House National Security Committee, the committee with direct oversight over the military. If the going got tough, committee Republicans wanted to know, would the President maintain his resolve?
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER, [R] California: And I haven't seen in this administration the political backbone, if you will, the moral authority, if you really believe that this is a mission that has to be accomplished to stand and continue to, to maintain a force in the face of overwhelming negative public opinion.
SEC. WARREN CHRISTOPHER: One thing I would say is that this has to be a demonstration that the President is not unduly motivated by polls, because, if he were, he would not be recommending the deployment of American forces. By, by all accounts, this action is, is not popular, and yet, he's doing it because he believes it's right.
MS. WARNER: The administration's trio will be back on the Hill tomorrow before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
MR. LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight: Why is the United States the peacemaker, a breast cancer development, and Gergen talks to Gates. FOCUS - WORLD VIEW
MR. LEHRER: Now to a central point underlying the U.S. mission to Bosnia; that there can be no peace agreements like the one in Bosnia and no peace on the ground without the direct involvement of the United States of America. We explore that premise with three men who have written extensively about the modern, as well as the ancient world: Ronald Steel, a professor of international relations at the University of Southern California, author of the Temptations of a Superpower; Donald Kagan, professor of history at Yale University whose latest book is on the origins of war; and John Lukacs, author of many histories of modern Europe, a professor at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Ronald Steel, how important a development is this that only the United States can make and keep peace in Bosnia?
RONALD STEEL, University of Southern California: I think it's probably more accurate to say that only the United States will intervene to keep peace in Bosnia. If it's just a question of 20,000 men, clearly the Europeans have the capacity to do that. But they don't have the will to do that. And I think this is the crucial element that's missing. They've tried to keep out of direct involvement in civil war. They've wanted to help the refugees, help civilians, but to stand aside while the combatants were fighting. They-- they were able to achieve this for a time, but the war has continued. There's been a lot of pressure in this country to do something about it to end it, and now the, I think, the pressure for the United States to intervene has been building for some time, and the leadership, if you will, of the United States was, I think, the crucial factor. The Europeans didn't want to get locked out of there. They didn't want this to be an American operation. The Americans did not want--the American government did not want this to be simply a European operation. So I see there's- -there's two elements there, I think. There's one that the United States wanted to end this war, the government wanted to end this war. I think for humanitarian reasons it's also voiced a security argument, which I don't think is very compelling. I think that's very confusing. I think it's muddying the waters here. It's essentially a humanitarian argument here. And the second one is that the United States wants to continue to play a major role in NATO, and the--to make clear to the Europeans that the United States is going to remain a European power.
MR. LEHRER: Prof. Lukacs, how do you see this? The question--the word "historic" is one that's thrown around a lot. Is this a turning point of some kind that the United States is now in this role of the maker and the keeper of the peace?
JOHN LUKACS, Chestnut Hill College: [Philadelphia] It's a small turning point. I thought for a long time that it was a mistake for the United States to get involved as much in what was the former Yugoslavia, that the Europeans should have done it. But the Europeans didn't do that. And now that this agreement or armistice is cobbled together in Dayton, it's sort of extraordinary and because of this, I think that given this armistice agreement, the United States must sustain it. If the United States now refuses to go along and implement it, it will be a tremendous loss for American prestige with rather incalculable consequences. In this respect, I'm very impressed--what I saw Sen. McCain say. I mean, he was very statesmanlike about this. On the other hand, what is slightly historic about this, that by and large, the prestige of this country has been declining for the past few years. The very fact that the United States now filled a vacuum means, I hope, more than a temporary rise of the prestige of this country.
MR. LEHRER: Prof. Kagan, how do you read this, this development?
DONALD KAGAN, Yale University: [Stamford] Well, I think one thing we need to understand is what the real character of NATO is and has been from the beginning. It's--I would describe it in the way that we ancient historians use to describe some ancient alliances. An alliance with a hegemon, that is to say even though everybody is a voluntary member of this organization, even though there are no formal distinctions among them, from the first, it was understood that the United States was the leader of this organization. So the allies have always looked to the United States for leadership. There's just no tradition, no history of the rest of NATO acting independently. I think we have to accept the fact that that's the kind of alliance that it is. We shouldn't be surprised that Europeans were unwilling to act independently but looked to us for leadership. And we need to fill our part there, not merely because of the humanitarian issues, which are of course very important, but it's deeply in our interest to see that NATO continues to function as a force for preserving peace.
MR. LEHRER: But beyond NATO, Prof. Kagan, before NATO--I mean, before Bosnia came Haiti, came Somalia. All of those were also driven by the United States. Is this the new world, wherever it is?
PROF. KAGAN: Well, I think the great question of where it's necessary to intervene is always a difficult one, and will never be able to be determined in advance. That's what we need statesmen for, to make good judgments about particularities. But on the larger question, my own opinion is that the world was presented at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, for the very rare opportunity for establishing a system that would preserve peace over a period of time. We find that there's only one great military superpower in the world, and it turns out that that power is widely and rightly understood not to have aggressive designs and not to be interested in changing things in its own favor but really having an interest in preserving the situation that exists. In those circumstances, if that nation is willing to accept its responsibilities, it can and, along with the people who feel the same way, of which fortunately there are many, that violence as a solution of international problem is not legitimate. And I think Bosnia is about in a deeper way precisely that point.
MR. LEHRER: Do you agree?
PROF. STEEL: No, I don't. I think that first of all NATO is a historic fact, it's an alliance that was designed to protect Europe from Russian power during the Cold War. It was an alliance that is today without an enemy, and what we're living in, I think, is the kind of after-shadow of NATO, if you will. We're living with the heritage of European pacivity and dependency upon the United States, the fact that the Europeans have not constituted themselves as an independent power in any way and, therefore, are unable to take a lead in an issue like this; however, I don't--I think it's critical for us not to lose the distinction between tranquility and security. The President has talked about our security is deeply involved in Europe. Of course, it's involved in Europe. It's historically been involved in not allowing Europe to be dominated by a single power which will then be able to do us great harm. That was why we were in World War I. That was why we were in World War II. But it's not about ensuring domestic tranquility within every European border. This is--
MR. LEHRER: So what is it about this?
PROF. STEEL: About NATO, what is NATO?
MR. LEHRER: No, no, no. What is the--what does Bosnia say that the United States is about? Forget the NATO part, just the United States. What is it about now?
PROF. STEEL: I think the United States has inherited a role as a leader of a great alliance and it has become the only powerful really super powerful country of the world, therefore, there are tremendous demands made upon the United States by the participants in this war to do something, by the Europeans to do something. There's an expectancy to do something. There's also this feeling among Americans that if we have the power to do something, we should do something. What we're not doing in this country is having any kind of debate about what we ought to be doing, the distinction between what we can do and what we should do. And that's why I think that this is a historic moment. I think that this is the first time that we've engaged in what is quite likely to be a military action which is quite divorced from military security.
MR. LEHRER: From our own security?
PROF. STEEL: From our own security. Previously we said even in places like Vietnam, Korea, that these were important for global balance, Communists would benefit from it if we didn't help these countries, and that, therefore, our own security was directly involved because we are in this competition with the Russians anymore or anybody else anymore. What is the meaning of alliances? Why should the United States become, in effect, the global peacekeeper? Now that is the role we can play, but I think it's one we ought to debate.
MR. LEHRER: Yeah. And that debate--has that debate begun, Prof. Lukacs? Is that what this is really going to lead to? I mean, is that where we're in the middle of, actually right now?
PROF. LUKACS: I don't think so. I think that the present debate within the country is a very short range one. I think in the short run this is, if I may say so, an interesting experiment. It sort of reverses what's been going on in the past few years. I hope it works. But allow me to attempt a--
MR. LEHRER: Excuse me, if I can make sure I understand what you mean, you hope the Bosnia experiment works, is that what you mean?
MR. LEHRER: If it doesn't work, then what happens to the long-- the long range is over?
PROF. LUKACS: Well, that I don't know, because I'm a historian, not a prophet.
MR. LEHRER: Sorry about that.
PROF. LUKACS: But I want to say something to attempt at the risk of being presumptuous of the longer view, this goes against what is the long range development. The long range development that these three big institutions--NATO, the United Nations, and the European Community--are now 50 years old. They were the result of the world situation after the Second World War. They fulfilled a purpose, but they are all to some extent antiquated, as you know, even NATO, NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. What does the North Atlantic have to do with Bosnia? I mean, of course, this goes back to 1951, when Mr. Atchison included Greece and Turkey into NATO, which I think was probably a geographical misnomer. The United Nations is certainly not united. It's certainly not an assembly of nations but simply a compendium of governments. The European Community is not a community. It's an economic organization with a very, very vague and unknown political future. We have to think about that. You see, the United States in a way is now, is an exception, the Bosnian thing, withdrawing from Europe. We have fewer European bases; we have fewer troops in Europe than we had five or ten years ago. The entire movement of the United States, the composition of the American population is moving westward, away from Europe. It is a new age that's beginning. That is the long range development. To some extent, this short range development of Bosnia goes in the opposite direction. I welcome it. I hope it works. What's going to happen in the long run I do not know.
MR. LEHRER: Prof. Kagan, what do you see in terms of the United States long range as a result of what this Bosnia--call it an experiment--call it whatever you would like?
PROF. KAGAN: Well, it depends how it plays out. I see the--
MR. LEHRER: It has to be successful or it will mean--
PROF. KAGAN: The results will be very bad news in a long range way, if it's not successful. I think we have to make up our minds that this is going to be successful. The definition of success is going to be argued about, of course. In my eyes, the critical element is that we have to show that we are committed not to allow war to be the way to settle these questions and that we are prepared to use force to avoid that in the--in the extreme situation, if we have to. But I think Mr. Lukacs's observations are interesting and valuable, and I would just make some distinctions about these different organizations. The one that seems to me to have hope and usefulness for the future if it is used in that way, is NATO. It's perfectly correct and fine to point out what its origins were and what its technical orientation is and so on, but it needn't be only what it was in the past. Of course, it can't be, since it was chiefly aimed at the Soviet Union, which doesn't exist. But it's clear that the participants in NATO are reluctant to just let it fade away. And they're right to be reluctant. What it presents is a tool, if properly used, that could be a new element in international relations, something we haven't seen in the past that could be used to the general good, and I think we need to try to make it that.
MR. LEHRER: But, Ronald Steel, whether it's NATO, whether it's UN, any of these organizations, are they all dependent on the will of the United States for them to actually perform these missions?
PROF. STEEL: Well, I think NATO and the way that it's been constructed, it's clearly an alliance that all during the Cold War has been dominated by the United States. We were the leader of it, of course, and, therefore, if NATO is to continue in anything like it's old form, if the Europeans are continuing to remain rather passive and concern themselves mostly with enrichment and the United States continues to want to play this role of global leader, then I suppose NATO is useful. Certainly I think one of the reasons why the administration has been drawn into involvement in the Bosnian war after being so reluctant for such a long time is a concern about making NATO relevant, of--
MR. LEHRER: You don't think it's a concern over making the United States relevant?
PROF. STEEL: Well, but I think they're connected in the sense that there's the belief that we don't want the Europeans just left to their own devices; we want to play a role in Europe, and, therefore, we want to do something for the Europeans that they're not doing for themselves. We protected them from the Russians all those years, which they felt they couldn't do for themselves. When they worked out a settlement in Bosnia among the contending forces in 1992, we refused to back it, saying that it wasn't good enough.
MR. LEHRER: People forget that, that there was a peace agreement similar to the one that was negotiated--
MR. LEHRER: --in Dayton by the Europeans.
PROF. STEEL: But we said, no, that's ethnic cleansing; we don't like that, we're not going to--we're not going to support it, but as a result, the various factions said that they didn't think it was going to last, and so they continued fighting all these years. But I do think it's--it's critical for us not to argue over constitutionality and what should be the prerogative of the President, all the kinds of things the Congress is concerned with these days in the name of credibility. I think there's something very important at stake here. And this is: Does the United States continue to define its place in the world the way it did during the Cold War? I think Prof. Kagan states it very well. I don't agree with him, but should the United States be, in effect, the international peacekeeper? I don't like to live in a world where grievances aren't settled by war anymore either. I don't think we're anywhere near that kind of world, and I don't think that the United States has the power to bring about that kind of world. I think it would bankrupt the United States. I think it would divide the American people terribly, and it would bring us all to grief; therefore, we have to choose our involvements very carefully, and we have to say, how is this related to the interests and the concerns of the American people? Now, I think you can make an argument for intervention in Bosnia, but I think it has to be essentially on humanitarian grounds. It's not about stability because Europe has been stable.
MR. LEHRER: All right.
PROF. KAGAN: Could I say a word about that?
MR. LEHRER: One quick word. Yes, sir.
PROF. KAGAN: I simply want to say that we mustn't imagine that if we just back off from Europe and back off from the rest of the world, everything is going to be nifty. The assumption is you've got dangers and troubles if you act, but none if you don't act.
MR. LEHRER: We have made the point that there must be a debate, and we started it tonight, and it will go on and on and on. Thank you all three very much. UPDATE - BREAST CANCER
MR. LEHRER: Now, a breast cancer update. Charlayne Hunter-Gault has that story.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: A 1985 study first showed that limited surgery combined with radiation therapy works just as well as extensive surgery as a treatment for small breast tumors. The smaller operation is known as a lumpectomy. Removal of the entire breast is known as mastectomy. But last year, fraud charges against one of the researchers raised doubts about the study. Today, the "New England Journal of Medicine" has published the latest findings, upholding the study. Here to tell us what it all means is Dr. Christine Berg, the director of the Breast Radiation Oncology Section at Georgetown University Medical Center. And Dr. Berg, tell us about first the original study and its conclusions and then what led to the controversy.
DR. CHRISTINE BERG, Georgetown University Medical Center: I'd be very happy to, Charlayne. The study was conceived quite a number of years ago to look at the best treatment for the breast for women with early-stage breast cancer. And the goal was to find out which types of treatments would be most appropriate. There were three groups of women, one group treated with mastectomy, the removal of the whole breast, another treated with lumpectomy alone, and then a third group treated with lumpectomy with radiation. The study was first published in 1985, and then updated in 1989, and then the results at that time indicated that the treatment arms were identical in terms of long-term survival.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: All three of them.
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: All three of them. As, as you mentioned--
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: So that, in other words, a woman didn't have to go to the radical step of having her whole breast removed, but could have the lumpectomy or just, or the lumpectomy with radiation, the lesser?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: A woman could opt to have both lumpectomy with the radiation, or the mastectomy. The lumpectomy alone arm is showing a higher in-breast recurrence rate, and so we're advocating treatment either with the lumpectomy with radiation or the mastectomy.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: But then a controversy arose because there were suggestions that the study was tainted, right?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Yes. The controversy arose because the group that did the study, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project, NSABP, noticed that some of the data from one investigator in Montreal was tainted, and they found that out of the over three hundred patients that he had enrolled six of those patients had data that was not accurate.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: How bad was it? I mean, how tainted was it?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Well, it--what he had done was, you know, for like a date of surgery, he had--in order to ensure that the woman met the entry criteria, he might have modified the date by a few days. And so it--you know--it didn't all--and he knew that he was modifying the date.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Modifying what date?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: The date that the woman would haveoriginally had the surgery.
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: You have to start the treatment, you know, the radiation with a certain number of days, you know, to meet the study entry criteria. And in order to ensure that a woman might be still eligible, he would push the date of the surgery up a little bit--
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: And that--
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: And that could affect the outcome?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Well, one would then wonder about is he accurately reporting all of the information about the women in terms of their results.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Okay. So what does today's audit show?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Today's audit went back and investigated all of the charts from the major institutions that participated in the trial. The National Cancer Institute sent out a team of 76 investigators to pull these records, look over all the important details regarding the dates of treatment, the results of treatment, to confirm the validity of the information; they went to the charts individually and pulled those and looked at them. And they verified that the data that had been entered into the analysis was accurate.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: And so now the conclusion takes us back to the original study.
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: The conclusion--in parallel with the audit, the "New England Journal of Medicine" published a--the update, the 12-year update of the NSABP results, confirming that lumpectomy and radiation when compared directly to mastectomy is identical in terms of long-term disease-free survival for women.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: So in terms of the women out there, I think the incidence now is about 180,000, is that right?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: That's correct, in 1995.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: What should they be thinking now, and what would you be telling them?
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Yes. I deal with this every day. I mean, I see a lot of women with breast cancer. I think the most important thing for them to do is to gather information about the particulars of their situation, discuss with their physician, or even better, a group of physicians to find out what's best for them.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: All right. Well, Dr. Berg, thank you for joining us.
DR. CHRISTINE BERG: Thank you very much. DIALOGUE
MR. LEHRER: Finally tonight, a Gergen dialogue. David Gergen, editor-at-large of "U.S. News & World Report," engages Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. Gates has written The Road Ahead, a book about the future of the information highway.
DAVID GERGEN, U.S. News & World Report: Mr. Gates, the message of your book is, or seems to me, is that the next 20 years will bring more revolutionary changes in the information age than all of the changes we've seen heretofore. Can you explain that?
BILL GATES, Author: The key idea is that the personal computer so far has just changed the way we create documents. But as we connect them together, it becomes a revolution in communications, an ability to find people with common interests, to explore any subject, to know what's going on. It becomes an electronic marketplace, where anybody who has consulting services they want to offer can declare that, and it's easy to find them and hook up and even do video conferencing so the work can be delivered that way. So it's a big step forward in making the world a smaller place and allowing us to exercise curiosity that we never could before.
MR. GERGEN: Most of the people that talk to you about your book discuss technological aspects. I'd like to talk about the other part of it, and that is the social implications of these changes. You've just recently gotten married, and I'm really curious, as you think about the possibility of having kids, do you think we ought to embrace as a nation the goal that every American child should be computer literate before graduating from school?
BILL GATES: I think we are going to have to make that a clear goal because people who agree that this is a great tool should want everyone to have the opportunity that it represents. Kids start out with a lot of curiosity. They want to explore subjects, and the classroom environment makes it tough for things to be individually tailored. If you're a little bit slower, a little bit faster, you want to learn it in a different way, the computer can provide that. The explosion of publishing up on the Internet is a wonderful thing, and now teachers are taking their multimedia lessons and contributing them for free to a repository that other teachers can go in to and get. And students can go all over the world and find other kids learning the same thing. So I think it really should be something that is available in the same way that books are available to everyone today.
MR. GERGEN: The question then becomes, and you raise this in your book but you don't quite answer it--I'm curious what you think-- how do we begin closing some of these gaps? I was quite struck, for example, there was a survey in "USA Today" recently about computers in homes by racial or ethnic group. Now, listen to these numbers. In Asian homes, 40 percent of Asian homes now have computers, 29 percent of white homes, only 13 percent of Hispanic and 11 percent of black homes. How do we--how should we go about it? If every child should be computer literate, how do we go about closing that kind of gap?
BILL GATES: Well, I think there is a big correlation where you have a strong family structure that puts a high value on education, the PC tends to move up in their priorities. And those figures are rather stunning. I think even if you took out the income effect, you'd still see a potentially growing problem of, of the opportunity that kids might have there. Now, there will always be families that can't afford it, to have it at home, even if they want to, and so the school and the library are going to have to be two places where access is available. The PC is improving quite a bit and it's over the next five years where I think that the content will be so much better, the communications networks will be so much better. The PC will be so much better. That's the timeframe where we ought to solve this problem of making it available to everyone. If you go out far enough, maybe the PC will be cheap enough for most homes, but I don't think we can wait that long before we, we provide access.
MR. GERGEN: You've, interestingly enough, you're taking the proceeds from your book and donating them to schools, to teachers who introduce computers. But you note in your book that schools have been far slower to introduce computers, personal computers, than have businesses. In fact, there was a--there was a piece in the "Wall Street Journal," they had a big technology section about a week ago which pointed out that some 60 percent of teachers now have access to computers and only about 40 percent of them are incorporating their curriculums. A lot of the teachers don't seem to know how to use them. They haven't been trained to know how to use computers, so even though a city like Detroit can go out and buy a lot of computers, the teachers, themselves, are not prepared to teach them in the classrooms. How do we deal with that?
BILL GATES: Well, there's a lot to be done. The people who write textbooks are having to revise those to bring interactive in to it, and so as the school boards qualify the next round of textbooks, they'll have to make that requirement. Training teachers is a big, big deal here. If your teacher isn't enthusiastic about, embracing it, then there's no way it's going to get the right use in the classroom, and then you've got to have not only the equipment but also the communications connections. And if we're in balance to providing a few of those and not the other elements, then it's a waste.
MR. GERGEN: One of the other things that's been true for a while is that computer usage seems to be more male-oriented than female- oriented. How do we overcome that gender difference?
BILL GATES: It's been kind of a game-oriented motivation which has really pushed towards the boys who are out there to explore wild things.
MR. GERGEN: You just need to invent more software for girls then, right?
BILL GATES: Well, that's going on. A lot of the new software is very creative, not so much violent games but rather exploration and things where kids go together and do things. Once somebody's a user, and they have the confidence that they can do one thing with a computer, then they branch out. They find other areas, and it's, it's stunning how far they go. I've seen this with senior citizens that start out maybe just with electronic mail or doing their taxes or playing a game. Then they'll--they'll have the impetus to go on and be big-time Web surfers. But that, that first set of learning, people are afraid to look down. They think maybe I'm a person who can't do it. And so you either have to have a friend who steps you through it, or you've got to have an environment where it's other people you can relate to, or you're all equally nervous about it, and there is a little bit of learning to go on.
MR. GERGEN: There's been a debate and literature about whether, you know, getting too into computers is socially isolating or not. You write more optimistically that it helps to create social circles and reach out for more friends. I'm really interested in a different issue, and that is whether--we found is that people as they move from city to suburb became less engaged in civic activities, they became less involved in community-related activities. How do we overcome the possibility that as people get hooked into their computers, just as they got hooked into television, the electronic world becomes so much more important to them that they'll care much less about what's happening outside their door?
BILL GATES: Well, I hope that the computer is a tool to help you get more involved with what's going on in your community. I mean, part of the hallmark of the United States versus other countries is the civic involvement, the willingness to get involved in charitable activities. When you're reading about, oh, politics, today those short little articles that just have the latest scrap, it makes it very tough to say understand a budget trade-off, you know, what the vote for or against is, or what is my representative saying, you know, are they still trying to make up their mind, are they interested in what I have to say, what is their voting record on this issue, and so I think if you have the latest article there, you can just click to see how the money is spent, what are those programs. You can then join a bulletin board group where you get notified on new things or decide to have a meeting. I think it makes it much easier to get involved. Government is so complex, so large that it's pretty daunting to try and say, I've got the expertise to say some new law about transportation is a mistake. And I hope that by politicians putting up their speeches and the bills being there and different points of view, that people will choose to get re-engaged and find that these are issues that, that they can understand and make a contribution to. Now, some people go as far as to say that, you know, we'll try out direct democracy using electronic devices. If that would get people more involved, maybe it would be a good thing.
MR. GERGEN: One final question. You may be having kids in the future. How do you plan to raise your children--have you thought about it--with regard to a computer? A lot of time on the computers, would you limit the amount of time they might spend on computers as they grow up so that they have some other outside activities?
BILL GATES: Using a computer is something we're going to have to break down into different kinds of activities. I mean, take reading; you don't want your kids to read comic books all the time, but if they're reading great literature, you probably will let 'em spend, spend as much time as they want. And so we'll have to have a tool where a parent without being invasive can get a sense of how is the kid using the computer and even set a time budget for certain kinds of activities and, therefore, shape what the kid does. My parents prevented my sister and I from watching TV when we were growing up, and I frankly, I'm glad they did. We ended up reading quite a bit and I don't think we missed all, all that much. So parental control over how kids spend their time, I think it's a worthy trade-off.
MR. GERGEN: Thank you. RECAP
MR. LEHRER: Again, the major stories of this Thursday, Senate Republicans reluctantly began to support sending U.S. troops to Bosnia. The Secretaries of State and Defense testified about the President's Bosnia strategy on Capitol Hill, and deadlocked budget negotiators cancelled their talks until Monday. We'll see you tomorrow night with our weekly political analysis, among other things. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Producing Organization
NewsHour Productions
Contributing Organization
NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/507-nk3610wp6s).
Episode Description
This episode's headline: Newsmaker; Making the Case; Bosnia Mission; World View; Breast Cancer; Dialogue. ANCHOR: JAMES LEHRER; GUESTS: SEN. JOHN McCAIN, [R] Arizona; RONALD STEEL, University of Southern California; JOHN LUKACS, Chestnut Hill College; DONALD KAGAN, Yale University; DR. CHRISTINE BERG, Georgetown University Medical Center; BILL GATES, Author; CORRESPONDENTS: ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH; MARGARET WARNER; CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT; DAVID GERGEN
Asset type
Military Forces and Armaments
Politics and Government
Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
AAPB Contributor Holdings
NewsHour Productions
Identifier: 5409 (Show Code)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 1:00:00;00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 1995-11-30, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” 1995-11-30. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from