Confederate Yankee makes an excellent attempt to explain the hand placement of the Cavalryman in the AP photo that we assume is flipping off the AP photographer, Maya Alleruzzo.
I redacted the name of the soldier because I didn't want to get him into trouble. Even if he was flipping the bird, he probably will not admit to doing so now. And if he was, it might have been smartassery instead of a slight at Maya Alleruzzo
But he probably wasn't. Mike Yon emails that Maya is very pro-soldier and that the troops really like her.
And CY believes that it is the soldier's index finger, not middle digit, that we are looking at...My opinion, having held an M16 for much of my adult life, is different, but I'm willing to give the Sergeant, Maya Alleruzzo, and CY the benefit of the doubt.