President Bush had to have been using old figures when he claimed yesterday that violence was declining in Iraq in a speech yesterday (after which he conceded defeat on the immigration bill). Here's a link to a WaPo story about the Pentagon's quarterly report I referenced in an earlier blog. Sectarian killings did drop from February to April, but civilian casualties rose somewhat over the previous quarter. And in May sectarian killings started to increase again. Violence fell somewhat in Baghdad and Anbar, but increased in the rest of the country.
I'm not saying the "surge" has no chance of working by September, but those who believe it has worked so far are snatching at pipedreams. The defeat of the immigration bill should make it official. Bush is the lamest of ducks and has virtually no chance for success on the kind of domestic agenda item that could help to create a positive legacy. It's all Iraq now, and it's not going well there.