I saw this piece in PolitNavigator. The reporter is Mikhail Ryabov from Donetsk. It is just a small sensationalistic piece containing little more than a short but very interesting video. Please try to ignore the stereotypical cartoon of the hand-rubbing Jew which accompanies the caption. That was unnecessary, Mikhail! — and besides, Graham is not Jewish, he is a Southern Baptist. Although I imagine that Mikhail was trying, not so subtlely, to make the point that Graham is a huge supporter of Israel and the American Jewish lobby. Which lobbies not just for Israel, but for the American military-industrial complex as well. Said entities are more intertwined than a lattice of graphene molecules!
The context: War-mongering American Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham spent this past New Year’s Eve not with their families — god forbid — but on the “front lines” in the Ukraine, visiting with their customer Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and delivering a pep talk to Ukrainian militias. Urging said militias to fight on against the Russians in Donbass and then further, to glorious war against Mother Russia herself! “Over the top, boys and Rah Rah Rah!” McCain and Graham are both Republicans, but both, paradoxically, were dismayed by Trump’s election victory. They were hoping for a Hillary Clinton win.
Why did these Republicans root for the Democrat, Hillary? One simple reason: She promised the nation — not in so many words but it was clear to all who had ears — that she would go to war againt Russia. Whereas President-Elect Donald Trump is more into smoothing relations with Russia and not launching full-out nuclear armageddon. McCain/Graham are worried about the prospect of not going to war against Russia, since their ideological legacy and financial livelihoods will take a hit if peace should suddenly break out.
For those not familiar with the American political system, please keep one simple fact in mind: National Senators, of which there are but a hundred, are a special caste. Once in office, it is difficult, if not impossible, to vote them out. Their office gives them unbelievable power, perks, and access to numerous methods of acquiring wealth. McCain and Graham found their piggy-bank in the American Military-Industrial complex. For example, according to this piece, Graham, from among the candidates for the Presidency, received the third most donations from the Military-Industrial Complex, preceded only by Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. But we are not just talking about campaign contributions here. We are talking about lucrative contracts for weapons sales, kickbacks, bribes, consulting fees, the whole nine yards, in a political system which is undoubtedly one of the most corrupt in the entire world.
Hence, those who believe that McCain is just a crazy old man with Vietnam flashbacks who sees Russian commies under every bed, are not seeing the entire picture. I mean, that crazy stuff is true too. But it’s also true that McCain is an extremely wealthy man — all the Senators are wealthy people — and that a big portion of his wealth comes from his ties to the Military-Industrial Complex. His revenues depend on weapons sales and on wars.
Yes, you may say, but what could McCain/Graham possibly gain from trying to sell weapons to a bankrupt nation such as the Ukraine? That’s a very good question, old boy. But the answer is simple: Ukraine won’t pay for the weapons. The American taxpayers will pay for Ukraine’s weapons. They’ll fudge the money somehow and call it a “loan” or “humanitarian aid”, or whatever. But the Ukrainians will not be expected to pay the bill, because they can’t. They will only be expected to provide the cannon fodder for McCain’s war.
And that, my friends, is why these two esteemed Senators undertook a visit to the “front lines” of Donbass on New Year’s Eve. When normal people were basking in the good will of the season and offering optimistic greetings to the world — tis a time when even old enemies sometimes reconcile and share a quaff, at least for this one night — these two Chicken Hawks decided to visit the scene of the crime, Donbass. In order to egg the Ukrainians on to more war. And not just war against the peace-loving civilians of Donbass — whose towns are routinely shelled every day by Ukrainian artillery — but even further: “You must go to war against Russia!” they incited the Ukrainian troops.
What Does Body Language Tell us?
With that context behind us, now let us watch the video, so please click over to the Navigator link and click on the video. It’s just under a minute long. As you can see, the action takes place indoors, but the people are wearing their coats and sweaters, so maybe there is no heat. Maybe that’s why Senator Graham starts rubbing his hands together.
Graham stands to the right of Poroshenko. As the latter mouths off his usual B.S. about “Russian aggression” against the “glorious Ukrainian people”, Graham first crosses his arms and looks off to the right. Then, at :13 seconds in, Graham brings his hands together in front. At :18 seconds in, the rubbing motion begins. An editing cut (presumably), and now Graham is blathering on about Russian aggression. “It is time for them to pay a heavier price,” he warns. And rub-hands rub-hands rub-hands.
Various internet users speculate what the gesture means. Economist Alexander Dudchak: “This is a typical gesture signifying expectation of profit… He looks around him and sees a bunch of suckers, and he believes that he can make some money off them.”
I would say that theory is probably the closest to the mark.