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Friday, April 04, 2003

Thumbs-Up From the Grey Lady

Evidently the folks at the Times missed the controversey that swirled about the blogosphere last week. The puzzle: what does an Iraqi mean by the "thumbs up" gesture? Here in the States, it is a good sign, but we must not project our quaint customs onto others.

John Cole has many links, and Atrios will be bumming, but here is the NY Times, the paper of record when I agree with it:

American forces reached the outskirts of Baghdad with astonishing speed yesterday, raising hopes that the endgame in the Iraqi conflict may be close at hand. There were signs that both the battle for military supremacy and the battle for acceptance by ordinary Iraqis were proceeding well.

Information about how Iraqi civilians feel was only anecdotal, but there were encouraging vignettes from around the country. As the marines moved toward Baghdad, they were met by a stream of people fleeing from the city before any fighting there might begin. Many gave the thumbs-up signal, thanked the invaders or waved in encouragement.

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