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Thumbs Up, USA!
April 5, 2003 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Thumbs Up? Anal insult or USA A-Number 1? Via the Riddler. Defense Language Institute:
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.
That's what you think, GI Joe.
posted by hairyeyeball (14 comments total)

 
"That raised middle finger? It means they think you're 'number 1', Mr. President... "
posted by umberto at 7:23 AM on April 5, 2003


Even worse...maybe these are ancient Roman Iraquis.
posted by umberto at 7:26 AM on April 5, 2003


From umberto's link: The middle finger -- well, the ancients believed that veins led from it to the genitals

So is that why we use it to say "fuck you"? Plausible.

That is an awesome find, hairy...all those soldiers thinking that the Iraqi's giving them thumbs up signs meaning "thanks, USA!" ... some of them must be meaning "Up Yours!"
posted by taumeson at 8:11 AM on April 5, 2003


The logo on the jerserys of my friends' soccer team is a thumbs up. Their name is Team A.I. It doesn't stand for "American Invaluables", let me tell you. After a goal is scored, they lick their thumbs and raise them to the sky. Wow. This thumb...it vibrates?
posted by ArcAm at 8:29 AM on April 5, 2003


all those soldiers thinking that the Iraqi's giving them thumbs up signs meaning "thanks, USA!" ... some of them must be meaning "Up Yours!"

With fake surrenders already taking the life of american soldiers I doubt they give much thought to the meaning behind a raised thumb.

(Your incredible find made the rounds about a week ago.)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:36 AM on April 5, 2003


historically is offensive to many Arabs
So what!?
posted by mischief at 8:56 AM on April 5, 2003


Yeah, all of the Iraqis who are crowding around U.S. military men & women to get food & candy, have their baby delivered, or learn to dance are saying "Up yours, too," no doubt. BULL. I'm convinced that most Iraqis appreciate and are happy about the imminent liberation of their plundered country.
posted by davidmsc at 10:06 AM on April 5, 2003


Intrestingly, it seems like the Sunni in and around baghdad are more welcoming then the shiite in the south. Probably because of the way they were betraid 10 years ago.

Oh well, while I'm sure some iraqis are happy others are not. Obviously.
posted by delmoi at 11:58 AM on April 5, 2003


davidmsc - I know a unilat photojourno who's over there, and no, they aren't happy and they don't appreciate it.
posted by SpecialK at 12:09 PM on April 5, 2003


"and are happy about the imminent liberation of their plundered country."

I think it is a testament to how much Bush has twisted this country that otherwise intelligent people would consider shooting up Iraq, setting up corporations to plunder the resources, installing a puppet government, and leaving the place in shambles to be "liberation".

It's not liberation. It's invasion and conquest. In grand Super Power tradition. How do we know it's not liberation? Because if the Iraqi people tell us to leave we'll laugh at them and tell them to shut up.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2003


After seeing some more reaction about how the Iraqis might like Bush and the Marines now, and the thumbs up, and the playing drums and saying "Yes Yes USA". Either the Iraqis are grateful now, or they have a twisted sarcastic sense of humor.

But, of course, they're not happy, they're angry and that's ooook. ;)
posted by RobbieFal at 1:42 PM on April 5, 2003


I was at an archeological dig in Spain, and the professor running the show told us that the locals had the wierdest shared personality trait: they did not understand sarcasm.
The first local guy I met told me that my professor spoke terrible Spanish and made bad jokes.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:24 PM on April 5, 2003


davidmsc - I know a unilat photojourno who's over there, and no, they aren't happy and they don't appreciate it.

Every report I read gives a different opinion on how the war is regarded by iraq citizens.

Probably because in a country of that size there are going to be a full range of opinions.

That makes the statement that 'they' feel anything in such a general sense simply ludicrous, despite you 'knowing' one journalist and taking his opinion as fact.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 5:50 PM on April 5, 2003


and leaving the place in shambles to be "liberation"

Because it was such a bastion of heaven before we invaded, huh?
posted by Dennis Murphy at 5:52 PM on April 5, 2003


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