Following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian cleric Mohammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti, which was aired by Syrian TV on November 11, 2005.
Al-Bouti: America should put itself on trial today, and it should punish itself severely for the numerous crimes against humanity it is committing. If we were to assume that the American president has developed today, with the killing of Al-Hariri, human feelings and a zeal for justice - this would be good tidings. This would be good tidings indeed, because then we'd know the American president would prosecute himself. He would put himself on trial, and would punish himself severely for the series of crime that he is committing against innocent and peaceful people. But is this really the case?
America has always viewed the entire world through one kind of eye-glasses - that of American interests. If it was allowed to squeeze all the interests of the world into a single cup and drink it in order to get drunk - it would do so.
(The US says) Syria should declare its support of the American occupation in Iraq. This is well known. Syria is expected to expel the Palestinians, who are only legitimately defending their rights. It is expected to expel them.
Syria is not doing this. So there must be another means to achieve this: Killing Al-Hariri and then arousing the need for an investigation in the required American way.
Bush the grandfather - I'm not talking about the father, but about the grandfather of the current American president - wrote a book about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. In this book, which was published in 1831, he says: "As long as the Muslims' empire is not destroyed, God will not allow the return of the Jews to the homes of their fathers and forefathers." This book exists. "As long as the Muslims' empire is not destroyed, God will not allow the return of the Jews to the homes of their fathers and forefathers." All these countries you see around you - according to their secret and public claims - are the homes of their fathers and forefathers.