The Fresno Unified School District has been implementing the Character Counts program based on six core values. I was struck that the leaders of our government score zero for six on these values, particularly in relation to the occupation of Iraq.
The first pillar is trustworthiness. Be honest. Not from a government that lied us into a war. The second is respect. Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone. Not from a government that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
The third is responsibility. Think before you act -- consider the consequences. President Bush was warned that the consequences of invading and occupying Iraq would be horrible but chose to do it anyway. The fourth is fairness. Don't take advantage of others. Not from a government that makes benchmarks requiring Iraq to turn over two-thirds of its oil to private corporations in order to receive further reconstruction aid.
Pillar five is caring. Help people in need. You can't help them by killing them. Pillar six is citizenship. Obey laws and rules. We invaded a country that was absolutely no threat to the U.S. without declaring war and without support of the United Nations.
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Let's do better in the next election.