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The deaths of another four British troops in Iraq prompts Barbara Panvel to suggest a novel solution for Messrs Blair and Bush.

To concentrate the mind, politicians like Blair and Bush who have the power to declare war should be required to head their forces, as did kingly heads of state years ago.

They should be prepared to share the lot of the frontline soldiers allegedly being paid less than the minimum wage, those without body armour and with guns that fire inaccurately.

Like the 3rd Paras in Afghanistan they would serve with those restricted to ‘belt rations' - water & basic supplies and risk being shot by American ‘friendly fire'.

Before Remembrance Day, Brendan Hawthorne hoped

. . . that one day

just one day

future generations

will not have to bury their children

in the bloody battlefields

and howling craters

of inhumanity

His hope will never come true unless more people join those who spend much time and energy pressing for the short term political decisions needed to give the armed forces all the support they need in undertaking legal assignments of which they can feel proud and, in the long term, to change our military policy.

This would mean canvassing MPs and supporting parliamentarians such as former Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle and Labour leadership contender MP John McDonnell, who heads a campaign for a Ministry for Peace. Both support the development of a UK foreign policy like that of Sweden and New Zealand - using armed forces to defend borders and help with UN peace keeping, disaster relief and rescue operations.

The other option is to do nothing and let the killing continue.

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