Immediately following the initial Islamist violence in Egypt and Libya, which has now spread throughout the Islamic world, the White House and Hillary Clinton's State Department blamed a barely seen video that mocked the Prophet Mohammad. While a mainly compliant media reinforced this notion, some criticism has hit the public square. In response, the administration is doubling down on this notion of causation despite facts demonstrating the Muslim hostilities were pre-planned, tied to al-Qaeda, timed in part for 9/11, and so forth.
Why? A surface answer would suggest that, as a campaign matter, the administration is so invested in the notion of an "Arab Spring" that it can not permit the appearance of failure. President Obama's foreign policy itself has centered upon the fantasy that his mere presence is sufficient to calm the Muslim world. It is easy to imagine the Axelrod/Plouffe team prancing around the Oval Office demanding that Americans, not Muslims, be the perpetrators.
A deeper psychological explanation is precisely what Obama has been well able to manipulate. For decades, the American mind has found innumerable ways to place itself as the cause of jihadist activities. The secret behind this maneuver is that it feeds the illusion that the threat is something we can control. That part of our minds so desperately frightened by the concept that we could have an enemy whose singular purpose is our destruction (the "Control Factor") has developed an ingenious set of maneuvers in order to restore the fantasy that we actually can control this threat. As soon as any evidence of the threat pops up, the Control Factor quickly jumps in to stabilize the American internal emotional state. By consistently repeating the causal connection, the administration feeds our deep need. At bottom, if we caused the violence, we can always change ourselves and control it.