When two heads of state must combine their ages to beat Biden's
President Biden was originally scheduled to meet with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky on August 30, but as was the case of his meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the meeting with Mr. Zelensky was pushed back. Whereas the meeting with Mr. Bennett was pushed back one day because of the suicide bomb atrocity at Kabul airport, the meeting with Mr. Zelensky was pushed back two days, to September 1, because of the August 31 evacuation deadline out of Afghanistan — and also, reportedly, because Biden felt the need to keep informed about Hurricane Ida.
This excerpt from a Brookings Institution preview of the Biden-Zelensky meeting is worth noting:
August 31 will be Zelensky's first time to the White House, even though Trump offered him such a visit more than two years ago. Sadly, the former president showed no understanding of the import of Ukraine for American national interests and instead sought to extort Kyiv into interfering in U.S. politics.
When it comes to Ukraine, Biden gets it. The discussions between the presidents will undoubtedly focus on the two central challenges facing Kyiv. First, the conflict that Russia has inflicted on Ukraine since 2014, which has claimed some 14,000 lives. Zelensky can expect a strong reiteration of American support for Ukraine, including for non-recognition of Moscow's illegal seizure of Crimea and for a settlement in Donbas that restores Ukrainian sovereignty.
The second sentence, first paragraph here quoted is certainly a baseless claim, a typical piece of disinformation from a reliably rabid radical leftist source. President Trump thoroughly understood the nature of our relations with Kyiv — to the point where he realized that the "it" that Biden got, alluded to in the second paragraph, was a hefty payoff (to son Hunter) to maintain good ties with the Obama administration. As leopards tend not to change their spots, one can only imagine what the "it" will be that Biden will now demand of President Zelensky, who no doubt is prepared for what Biden will demand: Ukraine pays for Biden to agree to play. Let's not forget how Biden positively bragged to the Council on Foreign Relation how he threatened to cut a billion-dollar aid package if Ukraine did not appoint a prosecutor to Biden's liking.
According to Reuters, Hurricane Ida, as well as the August 31 Afghanistan evacuation deadline, was responsible for the postponement of the Biden-Zelensky confab. It seems difficult to know what Biden could do about the response to the hurricane; it clearly would be enough for Biden to cite Afghanistan as the reason for postponing the Zelensky meeting.
The Zelensky meeting will be part of a first in U.S. history — perhaps in recorded history — the leader of a great nation (in this instance the U.S.) meeting in succession two Jewish leaders of foreign nations: of Israel and of Ukraine. These young men, still in their 40s, are meeting a U.S. president who, in three months, will reach age 79.
Mr. Zelensky was trained as a lawyer and gained success as a comic actor in a Ukraine TV series about a teacher who becomes the president of Ukraine. Indeed, it was his role as the Ukraine president that got him elected. Mr. Bennett ended his statement after the meeting with Biden with a quip, which I took down on August 29. But a curious thing happened. The quip was no longer online when I went, August 30, to post it.
The quip I wrote down goes like this. Mr. Bennett to Biden: "I have news for you. There's no election in Israel now." Why would that quip have been removed from the official transcript? It is, after all, a humorous reference to the four elections Israel had to go through to get Prime Minister Bennett. (By the way, Biden said in his closing statement that he would take no questions on Afghanistan now — he seems to have many and varied excuses not to take questions on Afghanistan, from where, according to reports, we left a day ahead of the August 31 deadline.)
Be that as it may, I look forward to the transcript of Mr. Zelensky's closing statement after his meeting with Biden. It should outdo Prime Minister Bennett in the number of quips, given Mr. Zelensky's comedic background.
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