Michael Rubin

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Person.png Michael Rubin  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Member ofUnited States Committee for a Free Lebanon
senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Michael Rubin is a neocon activist who works as a specialist on Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, has been editor of the hardline-Zionist Middle East Quarterly since 2004. Rubin was political adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad), 2003-2004, following two years (2002-2004) as staff assistant on Iran and Iraq in Douglas Feith's discredited Office of Special Plans.[1]

After leaving the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Rubin was a visiting and, later, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (July through September 2002). Following his return from Iraq in 2004, Rubin returned to AEI as a resident scholar. Rubin is a member of the Middle East Forum.[2]


A native of Philadelphia, Rubin attended Quaker school for 14 years[3]. Rubin earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1999. He has lectured in history at Yale University, Hebrew University (in Jerusalem), and at universities in Sulaymani, Salahuddin, and Dahuk in the Kurdish part of Iraq[4].

Rubin and the Lincoln Group's Iraq Propaganda campaign

On January 1, 2006, in an article about the Lincoln Group's Pentagon-sponsored propaganda work inside Iraq, the New York Times reported that "Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute ... said he had reviewed materials produced by the company during two trips to Iraq within the past two years. 'I visited Camp Victory and looked over some of their proposals or products and commented on their ideas,' Mr. Rubin said in an e-mailed response to questions about his links to Lincoln. 'I am not nor have I been an employee of the Lincoln Group. I do not receive a salary from them.' He added: 'Normally, when I travel, I receive reimbursement of expenses including a per diem and/or honorarium.' But Mr. Rubin would not comment further on how much in such payments he may have received from Lincoln. Mr. Rubin was quoted last month in The New York Times about Lincoln Group's work for the Pentagon placing articles in Iraqi publications: 'I'm not surprised this goes on,' he said, without disclosing his work for Lincoln. 'Especially in an atmosphere where terrorists and insurgents - replete with oil boom cash - do the same. We need an even playing field, but cannot fight with both hands tied behind our backs.[5]Rubin, however, claims he is innocent[6]

Israel Connection

Rubin is a hardline-Zionist and has worked for Israel lobby's inhouse think-tank, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute. Besides playing a key role in producing intelligence that sold the Iraq war at the Office of Special Plans,[7]. Rubin was the lead author of what Jim Lobe described as a "roadmap to war with Iran"[8].

Silencing Critics

Rubin and his colleagues at Middle East Forum (which also runs the McCarthyite Campus Watch) have long run a campaign to discredit critics of Israel through their publication the Middle East Quarterly. In 2006, Rubin was part of a smear campaign waged against Prof. Juan Cole, Middle-East expert and an occasional critic of Israeli policy. Justin Raimondo wrote:

In the Lobby's arsenal, character assassination is a major weapon of choice, and this was wielded against Cole time and again. Michael Rubin, a former employee of the Coalition Provisional Authority whose views are so extreme that he now accuses the Bush administration of selling out its original program of "regime change,"...Tellingly, Rubin doesn't reveal his own involvement in the Franklin affair, but one of the charges against the former Pentagon analyst is that Franklin reiterated the contents of a classified draft national-security presidential directive (NSPD), co-authored by Rubin, in which it was proposed that the U.S. should undertake a policy of "regime change" in Iran, just as it did in Iraq[9].

AIPAC Spying Case

Rubin also was embroiled in the AIPAC spying case when a classified document he authored recommending regime change in Iran was passed by a fellow OSP neocon to members of the pro-Israel lobby group. Given his subsequent reaction, Laura Rozen and Jason Vest speculated in The American Prospect whether the document was being passed with Rubin's consent in order to enlist the support of the Israel Lobby to push an anti-Iran policy on a hesitant administration:

Was it to this end that Franklin was allegedly observed by the FBI passing the draft NSPD on Iran to AIPAC? Was he trying to inform AIPAC, or Israel, about the contents of the draft NSPD? Or rather, and perhaps more plausibly, was he trying to enlist the powerful Washington lobbying organization in advocating for a Iran-destabilization policy? In other words, is the Franklin case really about espionage, or is it a glimpse into the ugly sausage-making process by which Middle East policy gets decided in Washington and, in particular, in the Bush administration[10]?


Dr. Rubin is author with Patrick Clawson of "Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos" (Palgrave, 2005) and of the "Washington Institute Policy Paper Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran" (2001), in addition to numerous scholarly and policy articles. He has published his opinion articles and analyses widely in such forums as the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, National Review, and Commentary. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC, MSNBC, C-Span's Washington Journal, and ABC's Nightline. He serves on the editorial board of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin and has lectured in the United States, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East to both military and civilian audiences[11].


External Links


Articles & Commentary



  • "From September 2000 until June 2001, Michael Rubin taught and traveled throughout northern Iraq."
  • "Michael Rubin is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. In 2002-2003 he will serve as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Rubin shared his rare, first-hand impressions of the region with the Washington File on August 15."



  • "Michael Rubin's view of Iraq," Star Tribune, April 11, 2004: "Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute just returned from Iraq, where he worked for the U.S. Defense Department and advised the Coalition Provisional Authority."
  • Robert Dreyfuss, "Neocon Lets Cat Out of Bag," Tom Paine.Common Sense, May 19, 2004: "Michael Rubin--a young staffer at the American Enterprise Institute who's just left the Pentagon, where he played a small role as a neocon cog in the Office of Special Plans war machine--let a herd of cats out of the bag about his favorite Iraqi phony, Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress."
  • Michael Rubin, Benador Associates, undated (Internet Archive Link): "Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, having recently served 18 months in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an Iraq and Iran advisor, during which time he was also seconded to the Coalition Provisional Authority [CPA] governance team."
  • June 29, 2004: "Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute."
  • Interview: Michael Rubin, C-SPAN, November 11, 2004: "Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, discusses U.S. policy towards Iraq."


  • Michael Rubin, "Democracy on the Wing," Washington Post, January 26, 2005: "The writer, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is editor of the Middle East Quarterly."
  • Interview With Michael Rubin, The Big Story with Michael Gibson (posted on Thompson-Gale website), June 5, 2005: "Joining us now, Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and former political adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority."



Event Participated in

Democracy & Security International Conference5 June 20076 June 2007Czech Republic
The "Neoconservative International" that reports it was intested in "building a world of free and democratic states"


  1. Brian Whitaker,US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy, The Guardian, 19-August-2002, Accessed 25-April-2009
  2. American Enterprise Institute,Michael Rubin, Accessed 26-April-2009
  3. Kathryn Jean Lopez, Dealing with Iran, National Review Online, 25-April-2006, Accessed 26-April-2009
  4. Middle East Forum, Michael Rubin Appointed Middle East Quarterly Editor,Middle East Quarterly , 01-June-2004, Accessed 27-April-2009
  5. Jeff Gerth & Scott Shane,THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: THE NEWS MEDIA; U.S. Is Said to Pay to Plant Articles in Iraq Papers, 01-December-2005, Accessed 27-April-2009
  6. Michael Rubin, For the Record, National Review Online, 05-January-2006, Accessed 27-April-2009
  7. Michael Rubin, Web of Conspiracies, National Review Online, 18-May-2004, Accessed 27-April-2009
  8. Jim Lobe, Top Obama Adviser Signs on to Roadmap to War with Iran, IPS, 23-October-2008, Accessed 27-April-2009
  9. Justin Raimondo, The Assassins, Antiwar.com, 19-June-2006, Accessed 27-April-2009
  10. Laura Rozen and Jason Vest, Cloak and Swagger, The American Prospect, November 1, 2004
  11. Middle East Forum, Michael Rubin Appointed Middle East Quarterly Editor,Middle East Quarterly , 01-June-2004, Accessed 27-April-2009