Of course, don't get too excited. When the occasional Bushie suggests that we might eventually pull some troops out of Iraq, he probably just means we'll be moving them next door to Iran.
Somehow, I suspect Ambassador Khalilzad won't go to the mat -- or won't be allowed to go to the mat -- to keep Bush's bold promises to protect the rights of Iraqi women. In fact, at this point, I'm betting the Cheney administration would gladly endorse a jury-rigged, Lebanon-style ethnic power-sharing arrangement with a medieval religious bent -- just as long as it holds together long enough to provide a half-assed, U.S.-style exit strategy with a 2006 mid-term election bent.
That's what you call "lowered expectations."