The right has been claiming that the left is “out of ideas”. Partly this yields exasperation on the part of the right, when the left declaims the Iraq war strategy as misguided. For the last 3 decades the Middle East has been an increasingly annoying abscess spreading discord the world over. On Sept 2001 that discord came home to the US and US public opinion demanded we do something about it. After toppling the Taliban, it was felt that they were a symptom and the root of the problem lie in the Middle East.
This is where the poverty of ideas problem comes in. The anti-war left (and right) complain that the Iraq invasion was a mistake. But … they offer no alternative for an overarching pro-active solution to the problem. How to democratize the area? Where are the alternative suggestions which were ignored? Because if there are none, then the complaints against the war lose some of their force it seems.
Put this in a somewhat different light. Assume that the political situation in the Middle East is the problem. Assume that there is a mandate from the populus of the US demanding action. What other course of action would be preferrable? What other big Moonshot sized effort would be better tasked to restructure the Middle East political situation for the next century. The White House came up with one answer. The left, while complaining it was not the right answer, has no rejoinder at hand for an alternative. So, those of my readers on the left, point to or provide an alternative which might be better.