Most of Iraq is very stable. Only 14 of the 18 provinces are even contested. And as palerider once pointed out, 90% of the attacks are within a 50 miles radius of Baghdad. If we secure Baghdad (which this surge is currently doing) then we will secure the country. And since the media focuses on Baghdad more than any other part, when the Shi'ites leave (like al Sadr last month), they are effectively retreating from center stage.