Four civilians were killed several days ago and at least four others were wounded in a remote village in southern Afghanistan in an episode that survivors described on Thursday as a bombing by an American plane.
Speaking from their hospital beds in the southern city of Kandahar, Rahimullah, 15, and his stepmother, Shams Bibi, both suffering from shrapnel wounds, said a plane bombed their home in the village of Mara Kale at 9 p.m. about five days ago.
Three of their neighbors - Mullah Shakur, his wife and his nephew, Matiullah - were killed instantly in the bombing, said Muhammad Yar, 30, who is Rahimullah's father. Mr. Yar's mother, Hajji Nai, 50, died Thursday morning in the hospital from wounds sustained in the bombing.
"A night plane started bombing us," Mr. Yar said as he prepared to set off with his mother's body to bury her in the village. "It destroyed everything in my house. My whole house was burned, people in my family were injured, and I lost a member of my family."
The above is from Carlotta Gall's "Afghans Say 4 Died When American Plane Bombed Their Village" in this morning's New York Times. It's our spotlight for the Times today. The story you should read or be aware of because, no matter what the Bully Boy thinks, we don't live in a consequence-free world. The military spokesperson "doubts" there were civilian casualities. Believes it was an unhibited valley.
There were immediate consequences for the people in that area. There may be long term consequences. In an administration when no one is ever held accountable, the Bully Boy may believe that no matter how bad things get, there's always another family friend just around the corner waiting to bail him out. Who knows, may be his streak will hold? But that's his streak. Not our nation's (obviously).
Actions have consequences. Gall informs you of some in this morning's article.
We'll note Tom Baldwin's "I'm not budging, says soldier's mother camped at Bush's door" (Times of London):
GEORGE BUSH loves his Prarie Chapel Ranch in Crawford so much that he has spent almost one fifth of his presidency "taking the pulse of the heartlands" in this big-buckled, open -- if not red -- necked, beef-eating corner of Texas.
He knows this enthusiasm is not shared by everyone but apparently delights in forcing aides, journalists and, yesterday, even Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, to do a stint of ranch duty. "I just checked in with the house, its about 100 degrees," he told reporters with some relish on Monday.
Crawford would not even rate as a last resort for a summer holiday unless you happen to be President of the United States -- or Cindy Sheehan.
She is one of America's "Gold Star moms" after her 24-year-old son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in an ambush at Sadr City, Iraq, last year.
Ms Sheehan says that it was last weekend when she "spontaneously" decided to march up to the President's gate for some answers. "I want to know what is this noble cause he says my son died for and why he doesn't send his own daughters out there to fight for it."
The President dispatched Stephen Hadley, his National Security Adviser, and Joe Hagin, a White House Deputy Chief of Staff, for a 45-minute chat with her.
But Ms Sheehan, 48, from Vacaville, California, refuses to be fobbed off. She has been camping on a patch of grass about a mile from the ranch, where she intends to stay until Mr Bush heads back to Washington at the end of this month or consents to talk with her.
"Camp Casey", as she calls it, has grown to about 50 people, including other bereaved military families, and there are predictions that numbers will swell to 1,000 this weekend.
Scheduled topics for Democracy Now! today (courtesty of Rod):
Antonia Juhasz on the new Iraqi constitution. She is a Foreign Policy In Focus Scholar and the author of the forthcoming book, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's grandson James Roosevelt Jr. on the 70th anniversaryof the signing of the Social Security Act of 1935.
Gerald Horne on the 40th anniversary of Watts. He is the author of FireThis Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s.
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