Political Web, page A1 … for 10:35 AM ET, November 21, 2005
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Top Items:

Evan Kohlmann / The Counterterrorism Blog:
Al-Qaida Takes Casualties in Iraq — But Apparently Not Zarqawi  —  Despite recent reports to the contrary, Al-Qaida's Committee in Iraq has suffered numerous casualties during recent combat operations in northern and western Iraq — including both native and foreign fighters.
New York Times:
Chinese Leader Gives President a Mixed Message  —  BEIJING, Nov. 20 - In a day of polite but tense encounters, President Hu Jintao of China told President Bush on Sunday that he was willing to move more quickly to ease economic differences with the United States, but he gave no ground on increasing political freedoms.
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
The China Opening Of 2005: Don't Ask  —  For Bush in Beijing, It's Hard to Get Out  —  BEIJING, Nov. 20 — After all the pomp and circumstance, after all the mind-numbing statements in all the mind-numbing meetings, President Bush finally seemed happy.  —  He slipped into athletic shorts …
Discussion: Eschaton and Rising Hegemon
Knight Ridder:
Bush uses his faith to push for religious freedom in China
Discussion: JunkYardBlog
John F. Burns / New York Times:
It's Still a Mystery  —  Photograph by Christoph Bangert/Polaris, for The New York Times; illustration by Brian Rea  —  AT a lunch with a senior American commander here last week, the raid that uncovered a secret Interior Ministry torture center in Baghdad prompted a question …
Discussion: The Heretik
Edward Wong / New York Times:   Widespread Violence Kills Dozens Across Iraq
Neil A. Lewis / New York Times:
Alito Often Ruled for Religious Expression  —  WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 - Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has compiled a brief but unmistakable record, lawyers and analysts say, that makes him a leader in the camp of conservative theorists and judges who believe federal courts have been too quick to limit religious activities in public life.
Discussion: Hugh Hewitt and ACSBlog
Daily Kos:   NYTimes: Still Engaging In"Shoddy" Reporting
Ellen Knickmeyer / Washington Post:
Under U.S. Design, Iraq's New Army Looks a Good Deal Like the Old One  —  TAJI, Iraq, Nov. 20 — Clad in the olive-green uniform of old, his heart rising to the sound of the lilting march to which he once went to war for President Saddam Hussein, Sgt. Bashar Fathi, a veteran …
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Journalist, Cover Thyself  —  Here's something you do not see every day: a newspaper reporter interrogating his own boss - on live television yet.  —  Howard Kurtz, the media writer for The Washington Post, posed tough questions yesterday for nearly eight minutes to Leonard Downie Jr. …
William Yardley / New York Times:
After Eminent Domain Win, Project Goes Nowhere  —  NEW LONDON, Conn. - They have still not moved out.  Not Susette Kelo.  Not the Derys.  Not Byron Athenian or Bill Von Winkle or the others.  —  Five months after the United States Supreme Court set off a national debate by ruling …
Los Angeles Times:
How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball'  —  The Iraqi informant's German handlers say they had told U.S. officials that his information was 'not proven,' and were shocked when President Bush and Colin L. Powell used it in key prewar speeches.  —  BERLIN — The German intelligence officials responsible …
Discussion: The American Street
At Least Ezra Pound was Nuts  —  I never "got into" Vonnegut, or "dug" his work like my "buds," several of whom pronounced his work as "intense," so I am not particularly bothered to find he applauds suicide bombers, and thinks they experience "an amazing high."
Discussion: Ed
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Bush Tries To Cool Fiery Iraq Debate A Few Notches  —  TMV NOTE: We often repost posts done the night before on the next day's blog, to make sure they get maximum readership.  The post below ran mid-day yesterday — but we're reposting it today due to some of the important issues involved.
Discussion: The Right Place, MyDD and The Reaction
Washington Post:
Bush Tries to Tone Down High-Pitched Debate on Iraq
Discussion: Wonkette
Rowan Scarborough / Washington Times:
Military fears critics will hurt morale  —  Pentagon officials say they are increasingly worried that Washington's political fight over the Iraq war will dampen what has been high morale among troops fighting a tenacious and deadly enemy.  —  Commanders are telling Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld …
Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VP  —  Former staff chief says Cheney's 'flexibility' helped lead to abuse  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities.
Ralph Peters / New York Post:
HOW TO LOSE A WAR  —  November 21, 2005 — QUIT.  It's that simple.  There are plenty of more complex ways to lose a war, but none as reliable as just giving up.  —  Increasingly, quitting looks like the new American Way of War.  No matter how great your team, you can't win the game if you walk off the field at half-time.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Washington Post rebukes Bob Woodward  —  Programming Note: Bob Woodward discusses the CIA leak probe and his silence, Monday on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Washington Post's ombudsman rebuked journalist Bob Woodward on Sunday for withholding what he knew …
USA Today:
CIA chief: Interrogation methods 'unique' but legal  —  LANGLEY, Va. — CIA interrogators use "a variety of unique and innovative ways" to collect "vital" information from prisoners but strictly obey laws against torture, CIA Director Porter Goss said.  —  In his first interview since …
Discussion: ACSBlog
Iran MPs back nuclear snub plans  —  Iran's parliament has backed plans to begin uranium enrichment and end snap inspections by the United Nations if it is referred to the UN Security Council.  —  The UN nuclear watchdog is due to decide whether to refer Tehran over its secretive nuclear programme.
Discussion: Winds of Change.NET
Associated Press:   Iran Votes to Block Nuclear Inspections

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More Items:

Pete Du Pont / Opinion Journal:
Cease-Fire in Tunisia  —  The U.N.'s war on Internet freedom isn't over.
Timothy Egan / New York Times:
Seeking Clean Fuel for a Nation, and a Rebirth for Small-Town Montana
Discussion: Sirotablog and Mathew Gross
Cowboys take up AK47s to combat drug runners on Mexican frontier
Discussion: Cao's Blog
Armed standoff on Rio Grande
Associated Press:
Senate Resolution Honoring The Boss Gets the Boot
Discussion: Poynter Online and mediabistro
Mark / Decision '08:
Decision '08 Turns One  —  On November 21st, 2004 …
Tamar Jacoby / Opinion Journal:
Kiss the Melting Pot Goodbye

Earlier Picks:

The Australian:
Muslim fanatics terrorise a nation
Nicholas Wapshott / Telegraph:
The Darwin exhibition frightening off corporate sponsors
La Shawn / La Shawn Barber's Corner:
OSM: Target of Bloggers' Envy
New York Times:
In the Senate, a Chorus of Three Defies the Line
N. Ireland lawmaker: 'Gays' caused Katrina
Discussion: Think Progress
Kristen Hays / Associated Press:
Jewish Leader Blasts 'Religious Right'
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Rumsfeld Says Iraq Troop Levels Must Be Maintained
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