Sectarianism in politics is a slippery slope & if you want to study its inevitable decline, especially its association with opportunism, the antiwar politics of the US group Socialist Action (SA) are a good place to start. From the First US Iraq War in 1990-1991 against Saddam Hussein, SA activists refused to work with the broader antiwar movement because they could not control its politics. Under the misleadership of Jeff Mackler, the Lilliputian organization formed its own antiwar coalition called the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). UNAC focused its work on gathering in big names to speak at its gatherings & for the most part ignored grassroots organizing to involve church groups, women’s groups, Black & civil rights groups, social action groups of all kinds. UNAC became one of the fragments of the Stalinist & Assadist cult which destroyed the antiwar movement.
It was all over for SA when it came out in support of the Assad dictatorship & Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians. Mackler actually coined the shameful call of ‘self-determination for the Assad regime’ & his minions supported that position with mountains of misquotes from socialist scriptures. They toured fascist propagandist Eva Bartlett & tried to tour fascist Vanessa Beeley but she was on duty for Assad vilifying the White Helmets as organ traffickers. It was really over for SA much earlier since it’s difficult to find any articles in their press covering the Arab Spring uprisings or even the Palestinian struggle & precious little even now on the Rohingya, Kashmiri, or Uyghur struggles. It makes sense that when the Syrian Arab Spring erupted, they would oppose it using Islamophobic ‘war on terror’ rhetoric because that is the logical metamorphosis of sectarian indifference to the struggles of working people in other countries: a political dead-end.
In a position paper, UNAC actually justified Syrian & Russian bombing of Idlib by claiming there are no civilians living there, only terrorists. Now UNAC has come out publicly on its blog against the Hong Kong protests, citing Stalinist & Assadist Sara Flounders that they are a ‘US regime-change operation’ & part of ‘a new Cold War against China’. Flounders, whose sectarianism goes back even further than SA’s, has always refused to work with the broader antiwar movement because it was too full of liberals. As a Stalinist hack, she prefers dictators & has always been too sophisticated politically to organize lowbrow liberals against war although they have always made up the largest battalions of antiwar opposition.
UNAC/SA finds itself in league with Flounders, Bartlett, Max Blumenthal & Ben Norton, not just on Syria & Venezuela but against nearly two million democracy protesters in Hong Kong. You really can’t go lower than that. Sectarianism morphed into Stalinism & forward to fascism. May they all rot in hell.