The United States boasts the largest, widest spread, and most powerful military ever to exist on the face of the planet, and as such, often receives criticism on both domestic and international stages.  Some accuse the United States of being war hungry, as demonstrated by its huge defense budget and involvement in armed conflicts the world over.

Of course, as the big kid on the block, the U.S. serves as an easy target when trying to simplify the woes of the world.  It’s far easier to accuse the United States of destabilizing the Middle East than it is to take accountability for your nation’s own foreign policy and support of terrorism, for instance.  Of course, that isn’t a statement intended to discard the fair level of responsibility the U.S. deserves to have laid at its feet: our hasty and poorly planned withdrawal from Iraq, for instance, could certainly be credited with creating a vacuum fit for filling by the likes of ISIS.

That instance isn’t the exception to the American foreign policy rule, but rather a continuation of failures some would argue we have yet to learn from – but as with all things, the reality of the situation in the Middle East and Asia are far more complex than witty memes and social media statuses will allow for; especially when making America the boogeyman is so much more marketable.

North Korea, China, and Russia recently began working in concert to shift perception of developing tensions around the Korean peninsula by taking advantage of this simplistic view of the world.  The U.S. has the biggest guns, per say, so it stands to reason that they’re the ones causing all this trouble.  After all, as far as China is concerned, it has been American aggression that has heightened the stakes with Kim’s regime, not their illegal pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their repeated threats of using those weapons against the U.S. and its allies.

Now, we’re beginning to see American media outlets, and in turn, Americans themselves embrace the idea that China and Russia are simply trying to serve as the voices of reason while they talk down the frat boy that is America before he beats up the nerdy North Korean kid with a science project.  After all, if China and Russia are saying we’re too eager for a fight, it must be true, right?

Of course, China’s interest in maintaining the status quo in North Korea is derived entirely from their fear of a weakened North Korean border allowing millions of refugees to flood into their country, and Russia has already demonstrated a desire to expand its trade market with North Korea in hopes of bolstering its own weak economy.  These nations aren’t acting in anyone’s best interest but their own… yet many of us back here in the States seem to think we should believe what they have to say about a man we’re certain is building nukes with an eye on American targets.

So as China makes claims about American aggression, it might serve us to look back at some other messages China has released in recent years.  Messages like the video below, which shows the Chinese military using every facet of its military machine to attack and destroy American military assets.

Of course, the video, which was released by the Chinese government in 2015, doesn’t name the United States as its opponent, but as the Call of Duty-like graphics show, they’re clearly American F-22s, F-35s and Naval vessels being blown to bits by China’s various weapons platforms.

Like North Korea, China regularly produces and released domestic propaganda that paints the United States as their enemy, despite economic interdependency.  While Americans lament our defense spending, China produces videos intended to ensure their citizens see us as the enemy.  For a frame of reference, can you imagine the response Trump’s White House would receive if he ordered his team to produce a video showing American military assets destroying Beijing?

Now, the intent of this piece isn’t to convince anyone that the United States is the lone good guy in a world awash with bad ones… but it is intended to grant a bit of perspective.  We may not be the only good guy out there, and we may even play the role of bad guy from time to time, but if this video and others like it are any indicator, there are real threats on the horizon, and our defense infrastructure is the only thing keeping videos like these relegated to fiction.

Watch China’s dramatic film of its attack on U.S. bases in the Pacific below:

Image courtesy of YouTube