By Pepe Escobar
"Lame-duck US President George W Bush, last week in a speech at the US Naval War College, made it official: Israel is the model for Iraq, although Iraq is rather more like Palestine.
Anyone familiar with the Arab world knows Israel is viewed all across the Middle East as a Western-configured colonial power, illegally gobbling up Palestinian land and treating its own Arab residents as third-rate citizens. Bush's Israeli Iraq - rather Americastan in Iraq, as it is known in many quarters in Baghdad - amounts to nothing less than a public relations nightmare in terms of the US "message" for the wider Middle East......
Iraqis have every reason to fear words, as in the poem by Nazik al-Mala'ikah. Many remember the apocalyptic expressions "axis of evil" or "weapons of mass destruction". They've now been told - by the Mission Accomplisher-in-Chief - their country is the new Israel. An exiled history professor in Damascus may have come up with the only possible way out of the heart of darkness: "Maybe we should abandon Islam, convert to Judaism, and start doing business with Texas." "