Maybe you thought Russia was merely disrupting social media with Internet trolls from the infamous St. Petersburg troll factory. Or, perhaps you're informed enough about Russia's non-linear warfare to understand that they are actively interfering with our 2016 elections.
But if you believe Putin isn't a physical threat to you, your family, your friends and neighbors, then you still don't understand.
Russia isn't just waging information war against the U.S., they are waging physical war against American civilians...ON U.S. SOIL.
Sounds crazy, right?
Let's take a step back and look at that awful night in Orlando, Florida, just a mere 2 1/2 months ago, when Omar Mateen left a trail of victims including 49 murdered and 53 others wounded.
This depraved act was the worst terrorist attack in America, in terms of loss of human life, since 9/11. It was also the deadliest attack against members of the LGBT community in U.S. history.
Although Mateen swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), neither the FBI nor the CIA found any evidence that he was actually a member of the terrorist organization or that ISIL was aware of him, prior to the attack. Mateen's motives remain unclear, although Daniel Gilroy, a former coworker said this about Mateen:
"But he also had a lot of hatred for people. Black people, women, he did not like Jews, he did not like Hispanics, nor did he like gay or lesbian people."
So there's the very brief and incomplete summary of the Orlando shootings.
But let's look at a few things that may change your entire perspective about this terrorist act...
Russian intelligence has been actively distorting the facts
Since the shootings took place, Russia has been developing a deceptive narrative in the media.
For example, the actual Wikipedia page covering the events of the shootings relies on a known Russian phony news site, MintPressNews, and a *heavily* Russian-influenced site, teleSUR, to suggest that Mateen's family "believed he was gay, and that 'the FBI asked her [Mateen's ex-wife] not to tell this to the American media' ".
But, lately, you may have noticed that Omar Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, is in the news again. The narrative is that Mr. Mateen is some kind of huge Hillary Clinton supporter, having recently attended one of her campaign events as reported by, er, RT here.
You may have also noticed Russian phony news sites accusing Seddique Mateen of working as a CIA agent, such as here, here and here.
This is one of the Kremlin's favorite old tricks. In Russian phony news site beforeitsnews.com they accuse Alex Jones of working for the CIA. In another Russian phony news site, they float the idea that, of all people, Noam Chomsky works for the CIA.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
But what the mainstream media *REALLY* showed us, in picking up and running with the Kremlin's narrative on Seddique Mateen, is their complete inability to research a story.
Meet the REAL Seddique Mateen
Seddique Mateen is neither a Hillary Clinton fan nor a CIA agent.
But he IS friends with Dana Rohrabacher, California's very own "Pro-Russian" Senator.
You may recall that Paul Manafort, who is presently under investigation by the FBI for his Russian ties, donated money to Rohrabacher's campaign:
Mr. Mateen has his very own web show, on which he displays his apparent Taliban sympathathies and (in line with Russian foreign policy) animosity towards Pakistan.
Mateen even dedicated the majority of one of his web shows to Rohrabacher and his Russian foreign policy aligned views on Afghanistan.
But there's more.
As indicated on his web show, Seddique Mateen has ambitions for becoming Afghanistan's next President.
In fact, Mateen is from the same tribe as former Afghani President Mohammad Najibullah. For the record, this was also convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui's tribe.
Watching Mr. Mateen's videos, it seems apparent that Mateen wants to BE the next Najibullah. And, if you didn't already know this, Najibullah was a KGB puppet.
Mateen even sports the same mustache as Mohammad Najibullah...
If you're still having a hard time with the idea that Russia is a state sponsor of terror, I'd suggest you take the time to watch these "prophetic" videos of Najibullah, which precede Osama Bin Laden's time in Afghanistan:
Of course, I haven't brought up the comparison between Omar Mateen murdering 49 civilians at an openly gay nightclub and Russian state media's anti-gay vitriol, but I don't think it requires a great mental leap to do so.
So there you have it.
I'll let you be the judge...