Do you know the way to San Jose?
By Martin Savidge
ATLANTA (CNN) -- You've gotta feel for the weapons inspectors in Iraq.
Not only do they have the pressure of potential war resting on the outcome of their work, but a gaggle of journalists with cameras and notepads also watches their every move -- not to mention Iraqi security forces. And all the while, they have to maintain an air of secrecy to their actions.
Why, just the starting of a U.N. vehicle in Baghdad is enough to send the chasers racing for their own modes of transportation.
And then, they might also get lost.
We don't really know if they were lost or just adding intrigue to the parade, but on day one, there was a time they appeared to be lost. That begs the question: What do you do at that point?
Now, this is not the old "guy thing" with directions. After all, it is Thanksgiving and you don't need me to introduce any more potential friction to the dinner table. It's just a lighter side to a heavy issue.
Can you just picture the weapons inspectors? They're not exactly like you or I. They can't lean out the window and ask someone on the street "Excuse me, my good man. Could you direct us to Mr. Hussein's alleged secret stash of weapons of mass destruction?"
No one is supposed to know where the U.N. is going and the question would ruin the surprise. Although at this point, I must interject. In my years out in the field, you never know what people will tell you. The man on the street very possibly could have answered, "Why, yes I do."
No, you just can't ask because the asking would tell Iraqis where you are going and that defeats the purpose of the whole mission. So you just tough it out É consult your maps, call back to base and try to ignore the TV cameras looking in the window.
Eventually you'll get there. Just hope the sign out front doesn't read "Welcome Weapons Inspectors."