Biden Refuses Cease-Fire and Negotiations -- In Ukraine?

Denis Balibouse/Pool Photo via AP

Say what? The White House has messaged for months that it desperately wants a cease-fire and negotiations to end war. The fighting kills civilians, and a large number of those captured need to be returned home. Nothing less than a cease-fire and a return to the status quo ante will suffice for Joe Biden and his administration.


According to Reuters, however, that only applies when Israel gets invaded and attacked, and when they start winning the war that follows. When it comes to Ukraine, suddenly Biden has no interest in negotiations:

Russian President Vladimir Putin's suggestion of a ceasefire in Ukraine to freeze the war was rejected by the United States after contacts between intermediaries, three Russian sources with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters. ...

Putin sent signals to Washington in 2023 in public and privately through intermediaries, including through Moscow's Arab partners in the Middle East and others, that he was ready to consider a ceasefire in Ukraine, the Russian sources said.

Putin was proposing to freeze the conflict at the current lines and was unwilling to cede any of the Ukrainian territory controlled by Russia, but the signal offered what some in the Kremlin saw as the best path towards a peace of some kind.

That's a bad deal, as it would essentially create a tacit and ex post facto justification for the invasion. It's understandable in that sense that the US would not be terribly interested in such a final deal (and even more so the Ukrainians), although not necessarily explaining why they didn't even bother to negotiate from that as a starting point. Freezing the war in place in Ukraine at this point would do little to reverse the damage of Putin's war of conquest, and would essentially allow Russia time to re-arm and complete the conquest at a later date. The Ukrainian government apparently didn't get invited to the talks either, which is another reason to take a pass. 


With that said, though ... how is that proposal any different from Hamas and its genocidal ambitions to utterly destroy Israel through long-term terrorism based in Gaza? How do demands that Israel accept a cease-fire that leaves Hamas in place differ from what Putin's deal would do to Ukraine?

And yet, Biden's back at it it Cairo, where CIA Director William Burns is trying to revive a proposal for a six-week cease-fire that they can manipulate to a status quo ante for Hamas in Gaza:

CIA director William Burns, Mossad chief David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani are meeting now with Egyptian officials in Cairo today “to discuss a truce in Gaza,” Egyptian media report.

Al-Qahera News, which has links to Egyptian intelligence, reports the “quartet meeting” as international pressure grows for a truce between Israel and Hamas. A proposal thrashed out with Israeli negotiators in Paris late last month has gone back and forth between the two sides.

“Hamas and the [other terror] factions are awaiting the outcome of the Cairo meetings, and Hamas is open to discussing any initiative that achieves an end to aggression and war,” a Hamas official tells AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Hamas and the other terror factions" don't want an end to aggression and war. They want the world to force Israel to stand down so that they can rebuild for their next phase of offensives in terrorist warfare against Israel. This pattern has repeated itself in Gaza over and over again; Hamas and Israel had a cease-fire in place on October 6, in fact, before Hamas and Gazans went on a barbaric rape-and-murder rampage in southern Israel that targeted unarmed farming communities and music-festival attendees. 


Unlike Putin, Hamas' senior leadership has made that ambition explicit since they started the war. Hamas isn't offering anything more than a hudna, if that, in exchange for the hostages. They have publicly demanded that Israel to completely stand down, withdraw from Gaza, and to fund and supply Hamas while it rebuilds the infrastructure for Israel's annihilation in exchange for any of the hostages.

And yet Biden keeps shoving that deal down Israel's throat while refusing to even discuss terms with Russia.  

Regardless, the Israelis are making it clear that they're not going to agree to a bad deal that wasn't good enough for Biden in Ukraine:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly given Israel's delegation in Cairo "limited space to maneuver" in talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza, Israeli media reported on Tuesday evening.

The Israeli delegation, headed by Mossad director David Barnea and Shin Bet director Ronan Bar, landed in Cairo for hostage negotiations on Tuesday morning.

"Limited" means that Israel isn't going to let Hamas remain a threat just because Joe Biden needs to make a case for his re-election. The Ukrainians aren't getting forced into that kind of a deal, so why should the Israelis?


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