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Leopold example misses its mark

December 28, 2006

Re "Congo lesson," Opinion, Dec. 22

Adam Hochschild's comparison of President Bush to King Leopold II of Belgium says far more about Hochschild than Bush. Leopold imposed a cruel and ruthless regime on a foreign land for his personal enrichment; Bush deposed a cruel and ruthless regime in a foreign land and is attempting to plant democracy there. The proper analog to Leopold is not President Bush but Saddam Hussein. The abuses at Abu Ghraib do not compare to the mass killing, torture and mutilation in Leopold's Congo.

And in any event, what journalist Seymour Hersh uncovered at Abu Ghraib was not the abuses themselves but the investigation into the abuses that the military had already begun on its own.

STEVE SCHWARTZ

Los Angeles

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