And another thing, that other finger doesn’t mean “We’re #1″…
Professor Cori Dauber is an “expert” in how the media covers the war…but unfortunately not in the native customs of the Middle East. Therefore, we have to take a few (okay, more than a few) of her words of wisdom with a grain of salt when she tries to spin a war that she supports, because, let’s face it, without a war, her specialty is about sought after as a merkin maker in Boys Town.
Here’s Cori going out on limb and making a grand statement based on a probable misunderstanding:
They come back supporting the mission, that’s what. Let me point out a few things about this article that Instapundit doesn’t. First, it is probably important to note that the CSM registers this is a big difference between Iraq and Vietnam, where Congressional visits in-country eroded support for the war. But it is also important to note that they point out that during Vietnam members of Congress who visited the combat zone were far freer to roam where they wanted.
Only here’s the irony. From their own reporting it is likely that if the members of Congress who visited Iraq were able to roam freely and interact with more Iraqis that they would return even more supportive than they are now.
For Chafee, a telling moment came as an Iraqi passenger in a passing bus gave the military convoy he was riding in a thumbs up. The impromptu gesture struck him. “My head kind of snapped around to see if I saw what I thought I saw, and I did,” he says. At another stop, an elderly Iraqi woman signaled the convoy by placing her hand on her heart. “I think it was a gesture of respect,” he said.
Hold on there Lincoln, and cool those panties down Prof. Cori, maybe seeing isn’t understanding:
Iraqis are giving passing Americans the “thumbs up” sign, which the troops interpret as a symbol of support. But many veteran travelers insist that the gesture is a crass Middle Eastern insult. How should coalition forces take those skyward thumbs?
Depends on how media savvy those Iraqi bystanders may be. It’s true that “thumbs up” traditionally translates as the foulest of Iraqi insultsâ€”the most straightforward interpretation is “Up yours, pal!” The sign has a similarly pejorative meaning in parts of West Africa, Russia, Australia, Iran, Greece, and Sardinia, according to Roger E. Axtell’s book Gestures: The Do’s and Taboos of Body Language Around the World. So, it’s possible that the ostensibly cheering Iraqis are, in fact, silently voicing their displeasure.
Man. We are really running out of good colleges these days, aren’t we?