US President George W. Bush on Thursday held up Israel as the perfect example of what a besieged-but-functioning Middle East democracy is supposed to look like, and urged the powers that be in Iraq to take notice.
Addressing a gathering at the US Naval War College in Annapolis, Maryland, the president said in that in the volatile Middle East, a democratic government must be able to absorb and deal with terrorism while continuing to function and honor the contract with its citizens.
“Terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities,” the AP quoted Bush as saying. “And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq.”
Analysts were quick to note that Bush's use of Israel as a model for government in Muslim Arab nations is not likely to increase positive sentiment toward America.