Like it or not, this is what democracy looks like.
So, has everyone noticed what's going on? Has everyone taken stock of the 'brink' on which we now stand? July 2016 has been a month of absolute mayhem all over the world, with brutal and bloody terror attacks occurring almost everywhere - much of it no doubt organized and premeditated, and some of it 'spontaneous' madness resulting from the former. The main event, however, has undoubtedly been the attempted coup in Turkey, which was effectively an act of war by NATO's largest member-state against its second-largest.

What happened in Turkey on July 15th was clearly a US-sponsored/supported coup attempt, probably thwarted at the 11th hour by Russia in the form of intel and advice to Erdogan and Co. Do we expect the world's exceptional superpower to accept such impertinence? Unlikely. If there's one thing the global warmongers-in-chief have learned over the past 70 years, it's that they rule the world, and any nation with the temerity to stand in their way will be severely punished.

As Erdogan and friends go through the process of rooting out the NATO fifth columnists in Turkey (3 of the 5 Turkish army regiments that took part in the coup are part of NATO's Rapid Deployable Corps), unnamed British 'defence sources' are already floating the possibility of another coup: "If there is another coup attempt then civil war will follow. If that happens there will be a major international crisis," the source told British tabloid the Daily Star on Sunday.

"Civil war" and "major international crisis", i.e. just the kind of scenario on which US and British political psychopaths thrive and have lots of experience in manufacturing. If Erdogan has any sense, if he has learned anything about the true nature of Western powers over these last 9 months (and the decade he spent in power as prime minister before becoming president in 2014), he will be in no doubt about what he has to do next, and what awaits Turkey if he does not.

He could simply look at Turkey's neighbor, Syria, and what has happened there over the past 5 years. Jihadi mercenary armies rampaging across the land, 300,000 dead, large swathes of the country destroyed, millions displaced, a 'refugee crisis' to beat them all, and all of it the willful product of Western governments' 'civil' war factory.

On the positive side, there are signs that Erdogan is finally waking up to some harsh geopolitical realities. It was, after all, his decision to turn towards Russia and modify his belligerent stance on Syria that triggered the Anglo-American axis of 'creative destruction' move to oust him. This was an act of desperation by Western powers, but it also very nearly succeeded. As I write, a 'plan B' is no doubt being cooked up in Washington and Whitehall. Coups are a direct and overt attempt at regime change. When they fail, tried-and-tested covert means are usually employed.

So what can Erdogan expect if he does not confront the existential threat to an even moderately independent Turkey posed by Western warmongers? A string of major car bombings and other terror attacks in major Turkish cities, Kurdish groups suddenly becoming much more aggressive in their campaign for a Kurdish homeland carved out of Turkey, 'ISIS' suddenly deciding that their war should be expanded in earnest into Turkish territory, economic assault in the form of financial terrorism, and the near-total international denunciation of Erdogan as the new 'butcher of his own people'.

It's not a pretty picture. But it can be avoided if Erdogan chooses to align with Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Together they can send a very clear signal to Western powers and their proxies in the region that the chaos and mass death that has been seeded in Syria will not be allowed to spread further.

The coup has brought into sharp focus what Erdogan appears to have realized shortly before the attempted putsch: that turning a blind eye to terrorism in Syria (by all actors, not just that which he had hitherto blamed on Syrian Kurds) leaves Turkey wide open for the wholesale spread of that same terrorism to Turkey.

With tens of thousands of people being fired or detained across all Turkish institutions, the speed and scale of Erdogan's 'purge' indicates that lists had been drawn up before the coup. While ignorant Western commentators self-righteously and hypocritically condemn this cleansing of the Turkish political, military and public sectors, they fail to understand that such measures are necessary in order to prevent the 'Syrianization' of Turkey. However 'horrid' and 'undemocratic' the Western media may portray Erdgoan's 'cleaning house', consider that the alternative is likely tens or hundreds of thousands of ordinary Turkish men, women and children being blown to pieces in a 'civil war'.

While Turks were being mowed down in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara by CIA-backed putschists, attacks were launched the following day against police stations in the capital cities of Armenia and Kazakhstan. Note that armed assaults against police stations by 'protestors-turned-rebels' are what kicked off 'civil war' (US-led destabilization campaigns) in Libya and Syria. Faced with Eurasian integration projects that can (and probably will) bypass the US-led global mafia protection racket, the 'Empire of Chaos' is in its death throes, the manifestation of which is, of course, deliberately provoked chaos everywhere (including terror attacks in Europe and police shootings in the USA).

For Turkey and Erdogan then, there can be no more sitting between two stools. They can't be in the queue to join both the European Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Erdogan can no longer sit back and allow Turkish intelligence to dictate Turkish foreign policy, including funneling weapons and cash to terrorists in Syria and manipulating refugee flows designed to destabilize Europe, and expect to have good relations with Russia. In short, Turkey cannot simultaneously be NATO's stooge and Russia's friend.

So, will Turkey leave NATO? More than a symbolic gesture, it's a gargantuan and delicate undertaking that requires removing a cancer at the heart of its institutions. Perhaps for reasons of domestic political expedience, the Turkish government is portraying its purge of 'traitors' (as many of them surely are) as the removal of a network of 'Gulen terrorists', but it surely knows that the coup's supporters were influenced by more than just the relatively recent ambitions of a solitary, aged, US-based political opponent of Erdogan.

As a long-time NATO member, Western influence within Turkey's military and political infrastructure is but one inevitable result. It goes way beyond that though. Long-term exposure to US influence means that, today, the very fabric of Turkish society - certainly among its intelligentsia - has been molded in the image of its creator(s): the 'reality-creators' of Washington and Wall Street. Erdogan now knows he can count on majority public support, but the path of transition from NATO subordination to Eurasian integration will be a tricky one, and almost certainly see the Empire use every dirty trick in the book to bring Erdogan and the Turkish people to their knees. The only chance the Turks have of weathering such a storm is to seek safe harbor in the arms of Mother Russia and friends.