WHEN facing a fight that cannot be won or that might prove too costly, order a pizza. This simple maxim can work as well as sophisticated approaches to conflict resolution run at places like Harvard or at posh old estates up the Hudson River.
So we were not surprised to learn of a pizza connection behind the Reagan administration's Iran-contra pact with House Speaker Jim Wright.
The administration had big doubts about winning an extension of contra aid. The hearings, Ollie North notwithstanding, had not helped the contra cause. The public was still more con than pro aid to the Nicaragua insurgents. In any case, the aid was not a ``voting'' issue; congressmen are largely independent of public pressure on the subject. With diminished presidential clout and a Democratic majority in both chambers, Congress was not about to be brought to heel.
A diplomatic initiative had to be added to the policy mix.
This was the message that Tom Loeffler, White House lobbyist for contra aid, brought over to Speaker Wright's home one evening - along with a reassuring pizza. Mr. Wright took Mr. Loeffler's word the White House was sincere about its plan.
Here is an alternative to Washington's recent reactions to frustration over trouble in the world, when it would either harangue the Soviets or bomb Qaddafi:
Call for a pizza.