Lawrence F. Kaplan ["Toxic Talk on War," op-ed, Feb. 18] says that it is fair to question the extent of Israel's influence on the Bush administration's policy regarding Iraq but that "the problem here is the implication that some of the Bush team have been doing Israel's bidding and, by extension, harbor dual loyalties."
In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, all of whom now hold influential policy positions in the Bush administration, co-authored a paper titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," which was hand-delivered by Mr. Perle to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The "realm" referred to Israel, and "removing Saddam Hussein from power" was described as a means of containing Syria and as "an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right."
The paper, which was described as "a framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy," also counseled the Likud prime minister on how to massage American public opinion and U.S. policy-makers. The point is not that Messrs Perle, Feith and Wurmser are "doing Israel's bidding" but that they wrote a plan for Israeli foreign policy that they are now positioned to carry out within the U.S. government. The least they can do is recuse themselves.
ROBERT L. NORBERG
The writer retired in 1995 from a 31-year career with Saudi Aramco.