In the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) was the hub for U.S. activity in the war zone. Saddam Hussein’s nearby palace and the Green Zone a half hour east were still being hardened. Despite the hostile red zone, I was shocked to find a thriving Burger King already set up at BIAP!
The chow hall at BIAP wasn’t bad. Nonetheless, Burger King was going gangbusters with an assembly line of basic orders for troops who stood in line for as long as it took to get burgers and fries wrapped in that waxy yellow paper. At one point the Baghdad Burger King was the third highest grossing BK in the world!
Its branding stood out like a beacon. Housed in a mobile unit, the Baghdad BK burgers and fries tasted like home, a symbol of the towns so many troops had left behind to fight a war on foreign soil. Platoon sergeants became heroes when they bought a sack of cheeseburgers for their whole platoon. It was a consistent taste and sight of home imported without change and it was awesome.
Around that time, I had a conversation with my interpreter that is burned into my memory. “Sir,” he said, “I was talking with my father last night, and he said to me that the reason that America is so blessed is because they are honorable and they keep their promises.”
It was a heartfelt statement that I logged away in my mind under the “don’t forget this moment” category. I wonder if his father still feels that way in the wake of broken trust. America has an immutable characteristic of being a force for good in the world. But of late it feels that has been tarnished.
Burger King did not change for a war zone. The signage, smells and flavors were immutable. Anything less would have been a disappointment. My interpreter felt the same way about America as a whole. We were a force for good.
America doesn’t always move as fast as we should. We don’t always get everything right. But as a nation, we are built on the premise that we should move to the “good,” and we have a long tradition of getting there.
It took time, but we became the world leader in abolishing slavery. We were slow to enter WWII, but we became the force that pushed fascism back into a hole. We have a reliable reputation, an immutable characteristic: America is a force for good.
But the progressive left desperately needs that to change. The woke left needs the U.S. and its culture, and all its components to be “mutable” rather than “immutable.” If the left can build uncertainty at home and abroad, then the immutability of America becomes doubtful. The brand diminishes, and we are seen as unreliable. But the entire leftist woke agenda depends on things seeming uncertain so that they can swoop in and provide their leftist version of how to fix everything.
For something to be “immutable,” it must be defined as unchangeable, intrinsically immovable, unable to change even if it wanted to. “Mutable” is just the opposite, something that can be changed, that is not reliable.
Redefine gender, declare systemic racism, and teach alternative history to kids. Shut down all military training to root out so-called “extremism.” Posit “existential threats” that we will all die in 10 years unless we completely move away from fossil fuels. A little anxiety, some revisionist history, mix in a dash of fearmongering and bake in some government mandates, and just like that you create uncertainty and defeat longstanding positions.
But perhaps the destruction of America’s international reputation is also intentional.
Is the immutable characteristic of America to be a force for good in the world still in place? There was a time when Republicans, Democrats, and Independents could differ on matters of general policy, but in the end, we were all Americans pushing for an image on the world stage of America as the biggest dog, but a force for good.
Then the Obama-Biden ticket was elected, and the tone changed with the “great apology tour” in which they apologized for America simply being America. Michelle Obama said that “for the first time in her life” she was proud of America. The war in Iraq became an abandonment of allies. ISIS came in and filled the vacuum.
Fast forward to the Biden-Harris Administration and the gross incompetence of the Afghanistan pullout, abandoning citizens and allies. The Taliban is now back in power and has once again set up a safe haven for terrorism.
What was once a fringe element of society has now had the Oval Office for 10 of the last 15 years. Using the power of the bully pulpit the progressive left began telling the world that we are not a force for good, choosing to portray to the world that we are not dependable. The left chooses for the world to see this new U.S. brand, believing that our actions may not be consistent, much less good.
It is intentional. The U.S. must be torn down so that the left can build it back in their own distorted image. Just like a Burger King in Baghdad, we must remain consistent. We must right this wrong and restore the sense that all is well because we are in fact an immutable force for good.