Not precisely a literary aside, but I thought I'd mention this since it reminds me of some of the topics that we're bound to run across in this discussion.
A friend of mine recently loaned me the box set of DVDs from the first season of Sci-Fi's remake of "Battlestar Galactica", and it struck me that one of the subtextual currents could be read as pertaining to various elements of the Middle East.
In particular, there's a great deal of resonance between the disenfranchised human population and the Jewish plight leading up to the creation of Israel. They were both fleeing from persecution and seeking a near-mythical homeland for protection.
And I think there's some room to build a kind of analogy between the Cylons as the prodigal "children" of humanity and modern Middle Easterns the prodigal children of the Imperial West -- particularly given the historical wrangling Fromkin describes. Whether or not the show will play out that analogy, I don't yet know, but it struck me very heavily watching the first hour or so that the makers had re-envisioned the old sci-fi classic with an eye towards the sort of panic and disillusionment Americans and Brits have felt since the WTC/Pentagon attacks and the London subway bombings.