I am pretty sure that even they were not really thinking about winning that big.
Actually they did, and the best in-your-face part is that Osama Ben Laden warned us explicitely in one of his tapes circa 2001. Can't be bothered to find the text (though it's everywhere), but basically he was saying Now what you're going to do is overextend yourself and fall harder than you ever had. But the elite were whipped into a rage (or more plausibly saw some profit in that manufactured war) and decided to convince the people to overextend anyways.
And here we are.