Accomplishments of Leopold II

EU Observer, via Crooked Timber:

Louis Michel, the Belgian former EU development commissioner and current prominent Liberal MEP has shocked his home nation and its one-time central African subjects by calling King Leopold II, the Congo’s colonial master responsible for between 3 million and 10 million deaths, a “visionary hero.”

“Leopold II was a true visionary for his time, a hero,” he told P-Magazine, a local publication, in an interview on Tuesday. “And even if there were horrible events in the Congo, should we now condemn them?”

er…Yes. Yes, we really, really should.

FWIW, Louis Michel is also a former Belgian foreign minister, and has been deeply involved with the Congo at a national and European level.

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