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While the recent war in Iraq posed a variety of ethical, moral and humanitarian questions for many of us, it was the headline of the local daily paper that caught my attention and challenged me to confront a potential area of volunteerism with which I am not particularly comfortable.

The headline, emblazoned across the front of the newspaper was clear. It quite simply read:

Saddam’s volunteer suicide bombers

(Adelaide Advertiser, 2 April 2003)

The story came complete with a full-colour photograph showing a bus full of Iraqi men, on their way to Baghdad, apparently ready, willing and able to blow up both Coalition forces and seemingly themselves.

While I have never been a fan of placing volunteering into a ‘box’ and labelling it in any specific way, the thought of suicide bombers being branded as volunteers was a stretch, even for my way of thinking.