Heritage Middle East analyst Jim Phillips makes a pretty good case that the Israeli confrontation with a convoy at sea bound for Gaza was a set-up by Hamas to provoke an incident that would draw intense criticism on Israel.

The Taliban has every reason to try the same tactic by launching a successful attack on US soil. Senior US military officials told The Washington Post that the US has plans for a retaliatory strike on Pakistan if the Taliban hit the US. Furthermore, US officials revealed that the National Security Advisor and the CIA director delivered the same warning to Islamabad last week.

From the Taliban perspective this has to be good news. If they can pull off an attack, the US will attack Pakistan–that will bring criticism from around the world and likely as not rioting in Pakistan–what could be better. UN Officials are already calling for a halt to Predator strikes (even though s recent strike reportedly kille the number three leader in al Qaeda) and they will likely have a cow after the US starts carpet-bombing the Pakistan countryside. The Taliban will then be just as much of the international “victim” media darlings as Hamas.