The collective group-think mind of the Left is truly a Gordian knot of unbelievable complexity. If it is the sign of an agile mind to be able to hold two contradictory thoughts in your mind while you investigate the veracity of both, then Leftist thinkers are Yoga experts in their ability to embrace multiple ideas in inherent conflict without even questioning even one…but only as long as the ideas are endorsed by Noam Chomsky, the New York Times, or the DNC.
But here I come with the Sword of Insight to cleave the knot in twain:
The key to understanding the Left? They all cling desperately to one basic notion:
"Death is Bad"
Sure, most people agree with that, but normal people don't take such philosophy to the same depth as Lefties do. Normal people like you and me don't let such a simple idea pervade every aspect of our existence.
See, Death is bad. Totally bad. Not in the Michael Jackson "I'm bad and that's good" sort of way, but bad in such a profound way that it goes beyond even Hitler and Sauron and right on into the extreme, nay, ultimate badness of cutting taxes. Why are lower taxes so bad, you ask? Because someone, somewhere, probably could have used that tax money to buy slightly better health treatment and they wouldn't have died! See? You greedy people who just want to retain the money you work for are making people die! Don't you feel ashamed? Can't you get beyond your selfish little perspective about the job you hate and realize if you just keep giving up more money more people can live? It doesn't matter to someone on the Left what that individual might have done to bring about their illness/injury or what they could have changed to avoid it, because they don't care. It also doesn't matter that 99% of all deaths are preventable, and channeling every cent of our GDP into healthcare for US Citizens would still result in "preventable" deaths. To them, the important thing is, once someone is dead, that's it. You can't help them anymore. You can't run their life anymore. You can sometimes still tax them, but it's only a one-time deal, you can't keep going back for more. You can still get them to vote Democrat in Chicago, but nowhere else, and if that means Democrats have less power, that's bad!
Are you catching on, yet?
So: Iraq. Well, that's pretty simple, right? If you are a Leftie, then nothing you or your country actively does should ever result in someone's death. Becauser, remember, Death is Bad, and you don't want to ever actually do anything that might cause something bad to happen. If bunches of people die because of a tyrant, remember that Saddam Hussein was a National Socialist. Don't be confused by the word "socialist" (which is never bad, just imperfectly instituted or perhaps even sabotaged by greedy capitalists who are jealous of Workers' Paradises), because the addition of the word "National" at the front heightens the connection with Hitler's Nazis, which, since they fought Russia near the end of WWII (after first conspiring together for a few years to kill Jews) means that they can be called a Right Wing movement; thus, you can absolutely ignore any similarity between their ideology/technique and the teachings of Karl Marx. Convenient, no?
So the thousands of deaths in Iraq before we invaded are fine with the Left, because they didn't actually do anything to cause them. But if anyone dies during or after an invasion, it is unacceptable to the Left to take any action that might result in a death that could be traced back to them. The Republican justification of preventing further deaths can be conveniently dismissed because once the future deaths are successfully prevented, you can't actually prove they would have happened.
So, in the interest of mental exercise, take the idea of handguns in a location with a high incidence of rape, like Washington DC. Okay, lots of women get raped there, and that's bad, but still not bad like if a potential rapist ever gets shot by a woman trying to defend herself, you know. Because, first of all, if he didn't actually rape her yet when she shoots him, then aren't you betraying the principle of "innocent until proven Republican, er, guilty" that our nation was founded on, right along with progressive taxation (see: Wesley Clark)? And, second of all, if she kills him, then how can we ever get him to vote Democrat (Remember, we're talking about Washington DC, not Chicago)? So if your political views lean left, you certainly have to be against handguns, too. Because even though more children die by accident in swimming pools than by guns, when was the last time a swimming pool accidentally went off while cleaning it? And guns are supposed to kill people, or at least threaten it, but swimming pools are just places to pee without anyone noticing it. See? Guns are pretty bad, simply because they are directly related to death, which is really bad.
Thus, people on the left can burn down ski resorts and blow up SUVs and blackball conservatives at universities and threaten to kill people and beat them up, but it is okay because they wouldn't actually intentionally kill people like those nasty 'ol Neocons who actually planned an invasion of a sovereign country.
So there you have it: The overriding philosophy of the Left is: Death is Bad.