From my good buddy Brendan Koerner, whose book will be hitting in May;
Interesting post re: McCain claiming to be a descendant ofCharlemagne. This is actually very common practice among American genealogical fanatics. Funny how no one wants to admit that they're descended from some dude who spent the 11th century whacking the soil with a stick, praying that a passing knight wouldn't chop off his arms for sport.
Also, note the importance of lineage claims to Arab politics--the head of virtually every Arab regime claims to be descended from the Prophet Muhammad. That includes our friend Saddam, as well as his Hashemite cousin in Jordan.