I was just looking at the news videos in the crappy mainstream media feed on my ISP’s start page, and I came across this video about Jordanian jets attacking ISIS positions:
The reason I’m posting this here and not in my news and politics blog has to do with what happens at about 2:19 where the voiceover says “Their deadly message to ISIS delivered.” The fighter pilot in the F-16 makes a gesture on the word “delivered” much like the “thumb turned” gesture made in the gladiatorial games, jabbing his thumb toward his throat. In Roman times, that was the gesture (often misinterpreted as thumbs down) to signal that a gladiator should be put to death.
It could simply have been a gesture of “Who’s the man?!?” or some emphatic triumphal gesture, or perhaps the pilot was flipping off the camera man (I’ve heard a raised thumb in Middle Eastern cultures is considered very rude) but it’s hard to say. At least those explanations make somewhat more sense.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this? Probably. I tend to shy away from “security theater” type stories in the news because they’re usually fluff, but when I do watch them I’m always scanning to read between the lines for hidden agendas and watching for discrepancies between what’s being shown and what’s being said. But I was not looking for fighter pilots making ancient Roman gestures nor, reasonably, should I be.