WASHINGTON, DC—Responding to recent criticism of reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the U.S. Defensive Department released a statement to the public Monday suggesting that perhaps they could do better, since they're obviously so smart.

U.S. soldiers in Basra reconstruct Iraq, while you do nothing but criticize.

"Well, it looks like you American people have figured it all out, then," the statement read in part. "There's no need for the old government to do anything, because the citizens know just how to handle this whole reconstruction-of-Iraq thing. Well, go ahead! If it's so simple, and if you're so smart, then what's stopping you? Come on."

"Oh, gosh!" the statement continued. "Wait! It looks like Iraq is a whole big country! And it seems that someone just fought a war there, to oust a despotic regime! So, gee, this might take a while, huh?"

At a press conference Monday, visibly upset Defensive Department spokesman Lawrence Pettibone addressed key points of the ongoing reconstruction process, such as its cost.

"Oh, dear!" Pettibone said. "It's taking a little bit more time than expected. Maybe the U.S. military should quit, huh? Then you could do the job for them, Mr. and Mrs. American Genius. Go ahead!"

"In fact, I'll pay for it!" said Pettibone, extending his wallet toward the assembled press corps. "Here! Here's, let's see, $49. Go ahead! Rebuild the infrastructure! Find the weapons of mass destruction! Keep the peace! What? This $49 isn't enough? Do you wish you had, say, about $87 billion to use right now? Well, well, well. How quickly things change."

Washington Post reporter Giles Mifflin asked Pettibone to address the issue of ongoing American casualties in Iraq, specifically the fact that more than 100 U.S. troops have been killed there since Bush declared an end to major combat six months ago.

"Well, Giles," Pettibone said. "I'd better get on the phone and inform the military that the soldiers in Iraq are still in danger, shouldn't I, Giles? Because they probably don't know that already! Or maybe I should just shut up and stop whining, because I'm a big pansy who never would have gone to Iraq in the first place!"

Added Pettibone: "Weren't some of you complainers the same ones who wanted us to get rid of a little problem called Saddam Hussein just a few months ago?"

A neighborhood in Baghdad, which is not as easy to reconstruct as some people seem to think.

"So what's the big problem now?" Pettibone asked. "Can't make up your minds? I wish we'd known that before we went and did what you wanted!"

Pettibone then gave short, peevish answers to reporters' questions about international involvement in the reconstruction, including those surrounding the issue of France, Germany, and Russia's recent opposition to a U.N. resolution that didn't set a timetable for returning self-rule to Iraq.

"Germany and France have a problem with the U.S.!" Pettibone said. "Maybe we should all side with them. Look at me, I'm the American people! I worry about what the whole world says all the time! I'm gonna ask the whole world if I can go to the bathroom from now on, because the rest of the world knows so much more than America! La di da di da!"

Pettibone muttered that members of the Bush Administration happen to have a little bit of experience in matters of foreign policy.

"Those working on the reconstruction effort are not just a bunch of idiots," Pettibone said. "Many have studied Mideast policy for decades. They have extensive experience serving under past presidents. What have you done? You read an article in U.S. News & World Report!"

Continued Pettibone: "Listen, you guys don't really know what's going on over there. We know what's going on over there. And you're not making my job any easier with these emotional outbursts! The worst part is—I didn't want to say this—most of you don't even vote! There, I said it! Most of you don't even vote, okay? So shut up!"

The Defensive Department was founded in the mid-1960s to manage the official U.S. position on the Vietnam War. The department has recently come under fire for the size of its budget, which is currently larger than at any time since Richard Nixon was in office.