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November 11, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-11

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e 4-Sunday, November 11, 1979-The Michigan Daily
In Egypt Camp David means inlation, iscal woes


By H. Scott Prosterman
Among the developments in the
Middle East since the October '73 war,
the most significant have been Sadat's
historic visit to Jerusalem in Novem-
ber, 1977, and the signing of the Camp
-Davd acod last yer Subg qen
debate on the Middle East situation has
centered on whether Camp David is, in
fact a workable peace agreement, or if
it was merely an attempt by three
domestically weak leaders, to divert at-
tention from their internal problems,
with a stunning diplomatic
Many informed observers insist that
since Camp David ignored the most
critical issue of the Middle East con-
flict-the Palestinians-it can be no
more than a facade to cover up the un-
solved issues which still rage. They will
grant you the fact that an agreement
between Israel and Egypt is a welcome
step in the right direction, but they are
quick to point out that this accom-
plishment is all but meaningless, in
light of the unsolved Palestinian
EARLIER THIS week, I had the op-
portunity to evaluate some of the Egyp-
tian reactions to Camp David in an in-
terview with Muhammed Sayad Ah-
med, who is a leading member of the
Egyptian progressive left, and a former
correspondent for newspaper al-Ahram
in Cairo. His political activities have
gotten him in and out of jail for the past
thirty years, and one stint of five years.
At an informal meeting with several
University graduate students of
Modern Near Eastern History, he
displayed an astounding knowledge of
Egyptian and Middle Eastern politics.
Among his more provocative writings
has been a book entitled, When Canons

Fall Silent, published in 1975, in which
he discussed the shifting power
relations at that time, and suggested
that peace with Israel could be possible.
The audacity of his statements won him
the condemnation of all Arab gover-
nments, and another short prison term
in Egypt.
In spite of his highly subjective
position as -a political activist, Mr.
Sayad Ahmed maintains a remarkable
sense of objectivity in discussing the
politics of the Middle East. His obser-
vations on the internal politics- of
Egypt, particularly those related to the
Arab-Israeli dispute, provide valuable
insight into 4he workings of the Camp
David accord, not to mention the
motivations of the parties involved.
Though he is, himself, a progressive
leftist, it is important to note the
ecumenical composition of his
coalition, of which he is a leading mem-
ber. This body includes conservatives
and liberals from Marxist, Nasserite,
pan-Arab, and Progressive Religionist
factions. The skewed elements of this
coalition are indicative of the scattered
opposition to Sadat, which is
widespread through all levels of the
political spectrum, and includes mem-
bers of the New Wafd Party-the sym-
bol of parliamentary democracy in
Egypt. The opposition in Egypt must be
understood in connection with the
ramifications of Camp David, and how
it has affected the internal politics of
Egypt. Accordingly, the changing per-
ceptions of Israel and the West must
also be taken into account.
Through the end of the '73 war, and
the subsequent rise in oil prices, the
thrust of Egyptian foreign policy wa
one of anti-colonialism, in which "Israel
was considered to be an outpost of
colonialism, and an acute expression of
it," according to Mr. Sayad Ahmad.

With the advent of independence for the
developing Arab and African nations,
the focus has shifted from anti-
colonialism, toward economic
development, and economic inter-'
dependence with the West; (something
in which even the most radical Arab
states have a vested interest). Now the
perceptions of Israel in the Arab world
are viewed in light of how Israel is sup.-
posed-to fit into this new scheme of in-
ter-dependence with the West.
AT THE SAME time, Mr. Sayad Ah-
mad 4.ontends that Sadat's view of
Israel as "the key to the West" and
Egyptian foreign policy in general,
have been conditioned, not so much by
the new developments in the Middle
Eat, as by the internal economic
problems of Egypt.sA consequence of
this disorientation is what Sayad Ah-
mad identifies as a further disruption of
the equilibrium to Israel's advantage.
This imbalance makes Israel less ready
to concede to the necessary conditions
for peace, and has heightened the
notion that Camp David is a separate
peace. Israel has then become the only
party in the Middle East with the power
to impose its will on all others, by virtue
of its military power. Thus the current
impasse is fostered by circumstances
which neither the U.S. or the power of
petrodollars can penetrate.
"Before the Jerusalem trip," he poin-
ts out, "all parties were subjects in
these negotiations, with the exception
of the Palestinians who were objects
Since the Jerusalem trip, only
Egypt and Israel have become sub-
jects, while all others have been releg-
ated to the status of objects; because the
basic assumption was that what Israel
and Egypt agree upon, all others have
no choice but to follow, since all the
others can't wage war in Israel without

He elaborates on "the logic of Camp
David" by identifying the American
line of reasoning in pursuing this
policy: that. whatever Egypt did, the
Saudis would follow, who would then
bring the radical Arab states into line,a
and eventually the Palestinians. The
problem though, he points out, is that,
"it broke down at the first link after
Egypt," as the Saudis did not follow
While Egypt has gained the strength
of better relations with the U.S., it has
lost some important bargaining power
at the same time. Sayad Ahmad con-
tends that without the bargaining
power of the other Arab states, Egypt
has become just another "Israeli ob-
He feels that the Arab petrodollars
"were previously responsible for the
notion that public welfare was
available in Egypt." Now that this
money is being curtailed, it is putting
the Egyptian economy into an ever-
more critical situation, dependent upon
Western sources, in increasingly tense,
circumstances. With constantly rising
prices and stagnant wages, the great
majority of the Egyptian population
has no concern for the diplomatic ac-
complishments of Sadat. So long as
they continue to be victimized by ram-
pant inflation, and see little expression
of concern from the government, the
accomplishments of Camp David mean
nothing.- Thus for most Egyptians the
issue of peace is synonymous with
prosperity. Sayad Ahmad points out
that the peace of Camp David has
brought more economic problems for
Egypt, if anything. Indeed one hears
from many recent visitors to Egypt of
problems of overcrowding, poor tran-

sportation, scarcities of goods, and
various by-products of inflation, at the
expense of a small, new bourgeoise.
SAYAD AHMAD further points out
that, while there is "a certain layer of
society that follows Sadat for political
motivation, the bulk of the people still
follow Sadat," and opposition is still
very elistist, on both sides. We get the
impression that, although there is
widespread dissatisfaction with the
Sadat regime, the prospects for any
kind of revolution are slim. Egypt after
all is a nation that has never experien-
ced a revolution in its entire history.
One might attempt to draw a com-
parison to the situation in Iran: The
economic divisions within the country
have a small upper class, sustaining
their lifestyle at the expense of the rest
of the country. But Sayad Ahmad
discredits the notion of the proposals
for a revolution in Egypt, similar to the
one in Iran, by drawing attention to the
secular nature of .modern Egyptian
nationalism, as opposed to the powerul
religious components in Iran. Another
factor stablizing the situation in Egypt
is that, "the political leadership has
been keen to keep the military leader-
ship in line with its policies."
Sadat, nonetheless can not step
backward, because it would be admit-
ting to the other Arabs that he had'
failed. Many feel that Camp David has
already proven to be a failure. Sadat's
advisers, according to Sayad Ahmad,
don't even express the same optimism
they did in the beginning about Israel's
willingness to advance to the second
stage of the Camp David accords-the
Palestinian autonomy talks. The recent
resignations of Robert Strauss and

Moshe Dayan support the observation o
Israel's unwillingness to expand the
The responsibility for these shor-
tcomings is to be shared equally by all
three parties. Not only have they failed
to isolate the deal with the most critical
issue of the conflict, but the U.S., in
leading the process has acted on the
faulty premise that the Arab world
would fall according to a domino theory
behind Egypt. This process broke down
before the first link; it was bankrupt to
begin with.
In talking to Sayad Ahmad one gets
the impression that the political in-
dicators point to a maintenance of the
status quo in Egypt. Though the
elements for a revolution ate
neutralized by the un-coordinated
nature of the opposition, a potential
timebomb exists in the unstable nature
of the Egyptian economy, and the un-
fulfilled promise that peace would
bring prosperity. We might expect the
situation to remain stable, until tpe
deadline for the autonomy talks expires
in May. At that time, the situation will
require a new assessment by all parties
Erratum: In an article on the Arab-
Isareli dispute, which ran on this page
on October 4th, I mistakenly identified
the British Prime Minister at the timpe
of the McMahon Correspondence as Sir
Anthony Eden-it was, in fact Herbert
Henry Asquith.
H. Scott Prosterman, a graduate
student in the Center for Near
Eastern and North African Studies,
is a frequent contributor to the
Daily editorial page.

Remembering Jonestown:

To Hll and back


By Elizabeth Gatov'
Following is the conclusion
of a two-part series on the
Jonestown mass mur-
der/suicide, on the first an-
niversary of the grisley
holocaust. The article, written
"by Elizabeth Gatov, is the'
study of two persons-Tim
and Grace Stoen-who were
close to Rev. Jim Jones, but
survived the jungle suicide by
leaving the church before it
was consumed in madness.
Yesterday's story chronicled
Tim's life in the church, en-

ding with -his disenchantment
with Jones. Today is Grace's
So far did Tim depart from his
worship of Jim Jones that, three
months before news of the mur-
der/suicides in Guyana sickened
,the world on November 18, 1978,
Tim filed a declaration in the
Superior Court of San Francisco
which'stated: "I believe he (Jim
Jones) is willing to murder all
1100 people now living under his
dictatorial rule in Jonestown,,
On the day of the massacre Tim
was in Guyana, with Grace. They
had accompanied Congressman
Leo Ryan there in hopes of get-
ting back John Victor, then six.

They were not allowed into
Jonestown, and they never say
John Victor again.
thoughtful, graying 41 years old,
with brooding eyes and torment
in his soul. He mourns his dead
son and his failed marriage.. He
still loves Grace, whose strength
he credits with having saved both
their lives. His sense of guilt
weighs heavily.
The loneliness he has known all
his life is now by choice, as he
pursues the self-appointed task of
writing his story of Peoples Tem-
ple. It will be partly catharsis,
but even more the discharge of a
"I don't want anyone to go
through this horrible experien-

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIy News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigant

ce," he says, "You can't find
happiness in external circum-
stances. It is a state of mind."
married Tim Stoen, with the Rev.
Jim Jones officiating, she
beleved it was the beginning of a
new, fuller, better life. Tim would
have a brilliant career in law or
politics; they would have a
family; she would b a devoted
and happy mother and wife: Her
narrow, dull life of near poverty
was behind her.
Little did she guess that lovely
wedding day that it was the
beginning of a nightmare that she
would still be struggling with nine
years later.
Grace Stoen 's "commitment"
to Peoples Temple was never
more than a commitment to Tim
Stoen, who was blindly commit-
ted to Jim Jones. Thus, just as
Tim became more and more
deeply involved in Temple af-
fairs, Grace too found that the
Temple was becoming an enor-
mous part of her life. For both of
them, from the day of their
marriage, the church was an all-
consuming force that would suck
up their energies and condemn
their love for one another to a
painful death by emotional
Though Grace still remembers,
fondly, a few evenings alone at
home in the first few months af-
ter the marriage in 1970, talking
and reading to one another, their*
shared experiences were too few
to ever build a real relationship.
Tim worked fulltime for the coun-
ty, and then long into the night on
the Temple's legal affairs. Grace
also worked fulltime, in the coun-
ty welfare departmnt, and was
also expected to devote many
hours a day to the Temple as a
member of the governing Plan-
ning Commission. Thanks to her
highly developed office skills, she
soon became deeply involved in
the church's administration and
accounting work, tasks which
would allow her uncommon in-
sight into the personalities and
inner workings of the temple
Grace's disenchantment with
Jones and the Temple' came
early, for though she was fond of
some Temple members and
generally shared their political
and social aims, she had never
fallen under Jones' uncanny
spell, as Tim had.
says today. "I was just a
pawn ... They were wining and
dining Tim, and he was invited to
places I couldn't go. After a
while, I felt like a piece of fur-
Grace had to attend the
meetings of the Planning Com-
mission, even though her
husband was usually excused for

ministrative business, and then
begin their ego-destructive
critiques of other members who
were called to account for minor
transgressions through reports
from the pervasive spy network
instituted by Jones.
Husbands would, accuse wives
of unnecessary expeditures, of
disloyalty to the church, of not
turning over income earned on
the outside. Wives turned in
husbands who had made sexual
advances to them after Jones
decreed that abstinance was the
rule because sexual
gratifications was self-indulgent.
J "Everyone on the Planning
Commission was asked to do
things that weren't nice or pret-
ty," says Grace. "Jim Jones
could figure you out in a short
time, find out where your buttons
were. He was always putting me
down. He verified the things I
always thought: that I wasn't any
good, that I wasn't nice looking.
And they said my little boy, John,
was much more intelligent than I,
so much more alert.
"THEY WERE beating people,
forty-five year. old women, twen-
ty people jumping on them,
kicking them. knocking them to
the floor," Grace recalled.
Though she was harshly dealt
with for retaining her in-
dividuality and her attractive
clothes, she says, "I'm proud that
I never gave a .penny of my own to
the church." She was also
criticized for not turning over
more of Tim's money, but she
had been brought up to pay one's
bills, and felt it important to pay
off his law school debts.
Though Temple members were
expected to remain true to their
commitment for life, in some
cases under threat of death, by
1971 Grace was already begin-
ning to think about leaving "in a
few years." She had no fear of
hardship. Working hard was her
natural way. Over-working,
when she was under stress, was
her way of coping with it. Often
her workday stretched to 16 or 18
Tim had clearly informed her
that she came second in his life,
after Jones and the Temple, and
as time went on she began to
doubt that she figured in his life
at all. Jones' constant efforts to
destroy their love, to destroy
everyone's love for spouse and
family as a bourgeois sign of
decadence, had taken its toll.
With their love gone, there was no
longer any reason for Grace to
stay in the church.
Finally, she concluded, "I'm
not going to get Tipi back, he
hates me, he's disgusted with me
because basically I'm weak
because I wanted to have a
family. So one day I said to
myself, 'Grace, grow up. Forget
Tim Stoen.' And that's basically
what I did I gave up Tim."
"I found I got a lot more

delighted in caring for him and
watching him develop into a little
boy. It was when she believed
family life was supposed to be.
"HE WAS so beautiful; he was
born with a full head of hair," she
recalls. "But his babyhood
wasn't'all that joyous, because
the church was so cruel to me,
constantly telling me I wasn't
good, I wasn't nice looking, I
wasn't a good mother."
In the communal system of
child rearing practiced by the
church, little John Victor was
being told the same things about
his mother-that' she wasn't a
loyal church member, that she
couldn't be trusted, that she was
stupid. And it soon had its desired
effect: The boy increasingly
made it plain that he didn't want
to be with her, or do things with
her, that he preferred the,
surrogatg mothers with whom he
spent his days. He told his mother
he'd been told not to speak to her,
and accused her of wanting to
leave the church.
"By the time he was four years
old, I was petrified of him," says
And then the inevitable hap-
pened. One night at a planning
commission meeting, Grace was
stunned to hear the members
vote to remove John from her
care completely on the grounds
that she was a bad influence on
Without John Vicotr, she knew
she really had nothing left to hold
the fragile marriage together, or
to hold her to the church. It was
time to go.
IN DESPERATE solitude,
because there were no friends she
trusted, Grace tried to plan her
escape from what she now felt
was a prison, so total was her
feeling of being under constant
surveillance. Providentially, she
learned that Walter, the head
mechanic, was at the same point
of decision, for similar reasons.
They managed to escape detec-
tion as they surreptitiously made
their plans.
Before her departure, Grace
had not seen Tim for a month. It
didn't occur to her to tell him that
she was going.
"Before I left with Walter I had
told him never to let me leave
without John Victor. But as soon
as I said that, I took it back. I was
very confused. I've been told,;'If
you leave, we'll kill you and
John.' And I had seen Mike
Prokes standing up with a gun,
saying, 'If you ever leave, we'll
kill you, grace.' Because I knew
too much; I was their head coun-
selor, a very prestigious

So miserable that she no longer
dreaded death for herself, she
could not assume the respon-
sibility of risking her son's death
as well. She left with Walter, and
without John Victor. That was
July 4, 1976, the 20th birthday of
American independence.
Grace and Walter fled to Cr-
son City, Nevada, where she got a
job with the Dep-artment of Motor
Vehicles. But the refuge didi't
last long. The Temple's spis
eventually found them by bribing
a telephone company employee
who turned over a copy of
Grace's parents' last long distan-
ce telephone bill. They then sim-
ply traced the calls.
Though badly frightened, a San
Fragncisco lawyer persuaded
them to return to San Francisco
and begin legal proceedings to
reclaim John, who by then had
already been sent off to join the
mission in Guyana.
"I was so scared," she recalls.
"San 'Francisco was by then the
main base of the Peoples Temple.
I asked the lawyer to ;promise
that if I was killed he would let
people know what had happened,
soI wouldn't die in vain."
Grace spent long hours with the
lawyer figuring out how to deal
with Jones who, so long as he was
in Guyana, seemed beyond the
reach of the California courts.
With Tim, who by now had also
left the Temple, Grace made two
trips to Guyana in 1978 carrying'a
court order demanding tht
Jones give up the child. With legs
than half-hearted cooperation
from the U.S. embassy, in
Guyana, and even less from the
Guyanese government itself, the
effort was fruitless.
Their last attempt was their
journey in 1978 with
Congressman Leo Ryan, who had
been stirred by their story and
those of other "concerned
With the notion that they could
somehow persuade Jones to let
them have their son, they wanted
to join' the partyaccompanying
Ryan into the commune, bu they
were refused permission to board
the plane, and stayed behind in
When news of the mass deaths
reached them, there was no
specific word about John Victor's
fate. It was weeks 'before they
had confirmation that he, too,
had perishedwith more than 1100
Grace Stoen is a remarkably
strong, wise woman of 31, having
lived a nightmare.
"One of the reasons I survive:
is that I have always believed in
my individuality. Jim Jones was,
trying to break.me, turn me into a
zombie. But I kept saying t
myself, 'You can take my money,'
take my husband-but you can't

SALT wns first test

F IVE MONTHS after it was signed,
the shaky'SALT treaty survived
its first serious test relatively un-
scathed two days ago, but a tough par-
tisan duel remains ahead. Slowly, the
treaty staggers on, fighting off the self-
destructive amendments and the
presidential politics.
The first real piece' of good news
came Friday when the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee approved the
arms accord, sending it to the full
Senate with only minor changes. The
vote was 9-6, closer than the Carter
administration had expected, but
enough of a mandate to encourage
supporters that ratification is indeed
more than just a dream. It is a real
possibility, but only if senators on both
sides of the ideological spectrum
ignore political implications and con-
centrate just on the merits of the
The treaty is not perfect, as evefl the
administration contends. While it does
reduce the amount of fireworks on both
sides, it surely does not come close to
guaranteeing a safer world or
represent serious moves to terminate
the Pal~atino ms raroe_1For exam-

approve the treaty. It was the South
Dakota liberal who co-authored a
biting letter several months ago,
criticizing the' Carter administration
for not cutting down enough. He
originally expressed doubt whether he
would vote for the treaty-saying it
was not even a small im-
provement-but he changed course
and was a key backer in the committee
Now other legislators will have to
follow McGovern's lead if the treaty is
to have a chance when it comes up for
discussion at the end of this month.
That, however, is not likely to hap-
pen. Sen. Howard Baker and many of
his Republican cohorts are busily
planning their attack on the treaty
which will include a call for specific
"killer" amendments. Yet it is these
dangerous revisions which must be
defeated. Their passage would not only
infuriate the Kremlin, but probably kill
the treaty as well.
The treaty has finally cleared its fir-
st hurdle but a long climb remains
ghr £ithiarE thiln

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