As mentioned earlier, I've been reading The Strong Horse by Lee Smith. It is a fascinating and often troubling view of the Middle East.
Here is a January 2010 interview of Lee Smith by Michael J. Totten. An excerpt:
The issue is not our policies; the issue is an existential one, and it is not about us, rather it is about a society that makes no room for difference, or what is known in academic circles as “the other.” If Zarqawi becomes a folk hero for slaughtering Arab Shia, this is not a region where a non-Arab, non-Muslim superpower is going to find much love.