Checkpoint thumbs up… Two Iraqi police officers at a checkpoint with their AK rifles. While one is giving the thumbs up, the other one’s hand gesture has caused unnecessary accidents. In the U.S and most Western nations, the outstretched hand with the palm facing forward means “Stop”. In Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, that hand gesture means “Forward”. This has caused normal civilians in their cars to approach checkpoints because they mistakenly thought the U.S soldiers were telling them to come forward, which resulted in them being fired upon. Just like words can mean different things, gestures can as well.