Situation disastrous but not catastrophic, defense sec’y says

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon today that the conflict in Iraq had improved to the point that it could no longer be considered a quagmire and should now be thought of as a morass.

“After taking a look at what is going on there on the ground, it is my judgment that it is time to upgrade Iraq from quagmire to morass,” Rumsfeld said, adding that he was “very confident” in making the new assessment.

The defense secretary said that the decision to invade Iraq could no longer be considered “a boneheaded mistake of unthinkable proportions” and should now be thought of as “a colossal error we will regret for years to come.”

“That’s a measure of how much things have improved,” he said. “Anyone who takes a look at the big picture over there would come away saying that the situation is disastrous but not catastrophic.”

In order to fight the perception that the war in Iraq is going badly, Rumsfeld said he would ask Congress for an additional $37 billion dollars to go toward euphemisms and synonyms.

Rumsfeld appeared to bristle at the question of one reporter, Charles Dolgian of the Toledo Blade, who asked if it was still appropriate to refer to the war in Iraq as “a train wreck.”

“It is most decidedly not a train wreck,” Rumsfeld said. “It is a train derailment in which the train hurtles down into the embankment and bursts into flames.”

Andy Borowitz writes a daily humor column at