Professor Cole does a great job of summarizing and interpreting the forces leading up to the attacks on the US diplomatic stations in Libya and Egypt. He also examines the responses of N African governments in the aftermath and the Romney campaign missteps.
In summary, a group of fundamentalist Christians fabricated an anti-Muslim film fraudulently attributing it to Israelis. Their motive, probably a mixture of anti-Muslim sentiment and a desire to stir up hostility to Israel and Jews. The responses were a mixture of offended Muslims and other Jihadi anti-Americans. In the aftermath it is clear that the Libyan government is aghast and doing its best to weaken the small group who murdered four Americans. The Egyptian government is a much more disappointing. The Tunisian government is also firmly in our camp. The Romney campaign shamefully tried to exploit this but it backfired on them.