Senior Aides Warn Bush of ?Humiliating? Defeat in Security Council

Senior White House aides are counseling President Bush to back
off his tough stance on invading Iraq or face a ?humiliating?
defeat in next week?s Security Council vote.

According to the Washington-based Capitol Hill Blue,
Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday told Bush that the effort
to persuade Security Council members to support a second resolution
has failed. ?You will lose, Mr. President,? Powell said. ?You will
lose badly and the United States will be humiliated on the world
stage.?

White House insiders said that the vote last week by Turkey?s
parliament barring U.S. troops from using bases there sealed
opposition to another resolution. Powell said that he has only four
of the nine votes required to pass the resolution.

Powell said the administration will decide early next week
whether to withdraw the second resolution, which would have
declared Iraq in material breach of U.N. Resolution 1414 and given
the U.S. permission to invade. Other White House officials,
however, said the Turkey vote and the capture last weekend of al
Qaeda official Khalid Shaikh Mohammed may allow Bush to save face
and back off from his hard-line stance on Iraq, while allowing U.N.
inspectors to continue their work.

?We?ve always needed an exit strategy,? said one White House
aide. ?Circumstances have given us one. Perhaps we shouldn?t ignore
it.?

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