The best advice I ever got on covering foreign policy was when someone said, "Don't ever make news of a cease fire the lead of a story about trouble in the Middle East," the lesson being events are always so fragile there that the cease fire would most likely be broken before the story made print or got on television.
That's why we shouldn't be rolling out the "Mission Accomplished" banner again in Iraq, at least not just yet.
Things have quieted down considerably. The additional troops the administration put into Iraq this year have made a difference, frankly more of a difference than I would have thought, and those troops deserve great credit.
But we must also keep our eye on the prize - or in this case, the continuing lack of one.
The whole idea of sending those troops in was to quiet things down so the factions within the Iraqi government could work out ways to share power and rule the country.
And so far, they haven't moved an inch.
Parliament took the summer off, and since its members got back, they have managed to do exactly nothing.
Until they do, until there is some progress in solving the problems that are the root cause of the violence, the turmoil may return once our troops leave.
So where do we go from there?
Immigration has dominated the recent presidential debates, and it is important to be sure, but Iraq is still the place where Americans are dying. We need to be hearing more about that.
By Bob Schieffer