Letters: Sudan, Ian Black, and the .30-06

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails. Among this week's topics: Melissa Block's interview with the Sudanese Charge d'Affaires to the United States; a commentary from Dr. Ian Black, who treats soldiers who have been wounded in the Iraq War; and Elsa Heidorn's story about the 100th anniversary of the .30-06 rifle cartridge.

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It's Thursday, the day we read some of the e-mail you've sent our way.


Last week, we devoted part of the program to the ongoing violence in Sudan.

BLOCK: Debrah Chay(ph) of New York City heard my interview with the Sudanese Sergei Dafer in the United States. She writes in to say this.

SIEGEL: "As a concerned citizen of the U.S. and of the world, I sincerely appreciate Melissa Block's persistence in the interview regarding his government's position on a genocide in Darfur. Thank you for pursuing this urgent issue, and demonstrating the unique power potential and some would say responsibility of the media to pursue and present truths in the service of justice."

BLOCK: This week, we heard from a doctor who's been treating those injured during the war in Iraq. Dr. Ian Black was featured on this program back in July when he was working at a military hospital in Texas. He's now the chief of anesthesia at the 28th combat support hospital inside the green zone in Baghdad. He wrote an essay for us, and I touched many of you. Here's just a bit of it.

Dr. IAN BLACK (U.S. Army): I feel embarrassed that after a few months, I have already forgotten so many patients, those who have been comforted and cured and the many who will die or bear their wounds for the rest of their days. What I hope I will remember most vividly are the people, not the injuries.

SIEGEL: Here's a response from listener Don Kilmart(ph). He writes, "Dr. Black's bellied such devastating details as he's wearing galoshes because of blood in the operating room or the determination of soldiers to find solace in spite of wounds. I commended the doctor for his work in persistence, but even more, for his description of how it affects him and his patients."

BLOCK: This comment comes from Dave Kofroff(ph) of Grille, Colorado. "I listened intently to Dr. Black's comments regarding the Iraq war. In 1970, I made my first trek to Vietnam, and I had the same questions he has. When is this going to end? Will there ever be peace again? What am I doing here? And I think every service members ask those question regardless of the war or conflict."

Dave Kofroff continues addressing Ian Black directly.

"Please remember your country is supporting you. And we keep all of you in our prayers. Keep on doing a great job. The service member you save or make comfortable in their last hours will be forever in your mind. Take comfort in that."

SIEGEL: Finally, our story on the 100th anniversary of the .30-06 rifle cartridge brought in several e-mails for grateful hunters. Kyle O'Myer(ph) of Shelby Township, Michigan, writes, "It was nice to once again be treated to a thoughtful, well researched feature that portray hunters, and by extension members of the America Gun Culture, in a positive light. Perhaps, in five years, well get a feature on the 100 anniversary of John M. Browning's government model of 1911. Just a suggestion."

BLOCK: If you have a suggestion, question or a comment, write to us. Please go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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