Monday, February 3, 2014
Barry Rubin stepped into the clearing at the end of the path after a long illness. I don't suppose many people heard of him but he came to my attention when I was taking an Arabic class at university while waiting to head overseas to join my first ship which was permanently home-ported in Bahrain. The professor and one of my fellow students suggested reading Barry Rubin's book, Paved With Good Intentions, which detailed the long and sadly unillustrious history of U.S. diplomacy and warfare in Iran.
He was a prolific writer who wrote a number of books about the region. Paved With Good Intentions examined the role of the U.S. in creating the Shah and ultimately in creating and nurturing the forces that tore his regime apart and threw the country into the hands of muslim extremists where it remains today. It was an interesting perspective for a young man headed to what we were calling the Arabian Gulf at the height of the Iran-Iraq War and the Tanker War. He definitely made an impression.