"But I'm not seeing any progress"
This is fundamentally amusing coming from folks who have never been over to Iraq, but that's almost trivial.
What they mean is that the media isn't talking the good news. And if there isn't any bad news, they just invent their own fictional stories. In fact, over the past six weeks,
Time/CNN was busted spouting story about 20 decapitations in Diyala Province. Didn't happen. BBC, which also picked up the story, published a retraction.
Reporters Without Borders reported that the family of a journalist had been massacred by a death squad. Funny, they look awfully lively for a dead family.
Some alleged dead construction workers in Afghanistan turn out to be al-Qaeda after all.
12 people were killed and their homes burnt to the group, but a couple days later AP slips in an almost-retraction. Read down that article and you notice that they couldn't find evidence of this alleged massacre/burning. So Gateway Pundit checks with MNF-I and gets a flat denial.
Anyway, Gateway Pundit is tracking this stuff better than I have the time and inclination to do. Short version? Don't believe much of what you see in the media if it is doom and gloom. Most of it is unverifiable, and the rest is simply invented in the fevered imagination of a stringer (who probably is a terrorist) or some journalist who is giving a source too much credibility and not doublechecking.
I hate to say it, but telling the truth is not part of Arab culture. Telling you what the Arab thinks you want to hear, is. If you tell an Arab you want stories of massacre, he will spin you a story that happened to "my cousin" in another town or some other unverifiable nonsense. Western reporters ask leading questions. An Arab, faced with that, is going to know precisely what the journalist wants and give it to him.
You want information on Iraq, get it from the only people in theater who actually get fired if they get caught telling lies.