You really need to read the ZAWAHIRI-ZARQAWI letter.
"I want to be the first to congratulate you for what God has blessed you with in terms of fighting in the heart of the Islamic world, which was formerly the field for major battles in Islam’s history, and what is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era…."
"…the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq . The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas. . . The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: …[This is ] the clash with Israel , because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity. . . . [T]heir ongoing mission is to establish an Islamic state, and defend it, and for every generation to hand over the banner to the one after it until the Hour of Resurrection."
"It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, specifically, in the Levant, Egypt , and the neighboring states of the Peninsula and Iraq ; however, the center would be in the Levant and Egypt."
(Anti-war crowd, pay attention):
"I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our nation."
(Cut and Run crowd: Pay attention):
"And it is that the Mujahidin must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq , and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and traitors holding sway over us."
They want nuclear retribution and 4 million Americans is the current goal. the '93 WTC bombing, Beirut barracks, the USS Cole, and 9/11 ALL happened BEFORE WE WERE IN IRAQ. Please don't fool yourself into thinking Iraq is the "reason they hate us". They hate us for no other reason than they are commanded too. We are the infidels and we must be defeated and they would saw Sean Penn's head off the same as they would Ann Coulter's...