Grim Images from Bosnia Shape Opinion Televised Terror Wins Muslims Support of Many in Congress

Article excerpt

Bosnia's Muslim-led government doesn't retain a high-priced American company to lobby Congress. With television showing horrific images of the war, it figures it doesn't have to.

Practically every night, CNN and other U.S. television networks broadcast Muslim men, women and children fleeing in terror from Serb attacks.

Those pictures have won the Bosnians enormous sympathy and support in Congress, which was reflected in the Senate's overwhelming vote last week to force President Bill Clinton to end the U.N. arms embargo against Bosnia.

The Bosnian government briefly retained Ruder-Finn Inc., a New York public relations firm, in 1992. Since then, it has relied on a polished, English-speaking diplomatic corps to get its message out. Many are not strangers to the United States - Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey once attended Tulane University on a football scholarship.

American foreign policy heavyweights, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Jeane Kirkpatrick, also have taken up the government's cause. And an unusual coalition of Jewish and Muslim groups have joined forces to advocate ending the arms embargo.

But all of that has been less important than the media reports of Serb atrocities against the Muslims, which provided the subtext for the Senate debate. …