this is NOT a jboss problem. it is a database problem.
if you run against mysql, you'll never run into any such problem.
if you run against mssql, you will run into this problem because mssql, in all their wisdom, decided to reserve "USER" as a system table. mysql, by contrast, saves user info in the USER table, but in a different database: the "mysql" database. however, with the right escaping you can get around the problem. also with the right permissioning you can get around it.
other db servers may have similar problems, but i don't know specific details.
finally, jboss has a file in your configuration's conf directory where they list all the "reserved" keywords like 'desc' which it uses to perform precondition checks on your keywords.
ps: mysql considers "desc" a reserved keyword :)