George Graham

The Word is Negotiate, Mr. President!

You hear a lot from political candidates about the need to negotiate with other countries. And, it seems to me, President Bush provided an object lesson the other day.

There he was on television begging the Saudi princes to give him a break and increase oil production. Ouch!

The Saudis looked down their long noses and said no way.

A president who knows how to negotiate might have said something like, “You guys want to buy our weapons and ammunition? No deal unless you agree to boost oil production.”

Or: “If you guys don’t boost oil production, I am going to open the spigot on our petroleum reserves and flood the market, bringing down oil prices in a hurry. And how do you like them apples?”

I think the ancient Romans called that quid pro quo. Kids call it tit-for-tat.

Political candidates might call it negotiating.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for