Now that I stop and think about it, I'd like to repost here something I said in one of Atrios' comments threads, because I think it's important:
Pretty much everything that the warblogger/neo-conservative right have been calling for is pretty much exactly what Osama wanted, so much so that I wonder whether he wasn't much, much smarter than we've given him credit for. After all, he wanted the U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia, he wanted the House of Saud overthrown, and he wanted war between the west and Islam... and by inflaming the rage of Americans with his attack and then making sure that Al Qaeda is too difficult and diffuse a target to satisfy that rage, he's moved a lot closer to those goals than anyone would have dreamed a while ago.
(Heck, I doubt he was a big fan of Saddam either, and Saddam would be the perfect loud patsy to enrage Arabs and set them against the Americans, and possibly isolate the U.S. from the world over the issue of invading Iraq. Israel/Palestine is too tricky and too secular, but he had to know that Iraq would be target #1 after his Taliban buddies were wiped off the map. He could use Saddam without even talking with him.)
Perhaps we're using the wrong word after all. Perhaps he was never trying to create terror, and therefore this isn't terrorism. Perhaps he was trying to create exactly the kind of rage that resulted from 9/11, knowing exactly what it would entail, who would be targeted, and what kind of ideas and ideologies it would bring to the fore. I wouldn't be overly surprised, but the fact that it seems so damned plausible is also damned frightening.