This sounds like hope to me.

Mahdi, Sistani and other Shiite leaders in the government don’t share Washington’s perception of a downward spiral. They also don’t buy the American sense of urgency — the oft-expressed idea that the new government has only a few months to succeed. Consequently, the many ideas for silver bullets tossed around in the U.S. debate mostly don’t interest them.

This during VP Mahdi’s visit to DC to confirm Bush’s committment to Iraq.
The NYTimes doesn’t quite see it.

But in a country long on disappointment and short on hope, Dora represents only the embryo of progress.

This on a story of the re-focus of troops into violent neighborhoods.
I’m going with hope myself. We’re committed until 2008 at the very earliest. After that Mr. Mahdi may need to request re-newed committments again, but I believe he can trust Mr. Bush to do what what was promised, while he can.