Apparently the violence is at its lowest since early 2006. That’s great news.

So why is the chance for success still at an all time low?

From the NY Times:

BAGHDAD, Nov. 18 — The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the country’s worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion nearly five years ago.

Data released at a news conference in Baghdad showed that attacks had declined to the lowest level since January 2006. It is the third week in a row that attacks have been at this reduced level.

The statistics on attack trends have long been a standard measure that the American military has used to assess violence in Iraq. Because the data have been gathered for years and are deemed generally reliable they allow analysts to identify trends.

Note the first paragraph there. One key thing got bombed and it all went bad. Not very heartening. And while that may not be the Iraq of today, something tells me it isn’t too far removed from that reality.

Folks, success in Iraq is not violence going down. This is yet another framing of the debate by the administration and right wingers that is just plain false. Is it good news? Yes. People NOT getting killed is GREAT news. But it is NOT success.

We’ll measure success when the Iraqi government gets their act together and figures out a way to build a coalition. Because without that, all of this progress can be undone by ONE bomb.

So then, how’s the Iraqi government doing on their end?

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaida terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.

Enough said.

Politics Iraq Violence Down. Chance For Failure Still Sky High.