"Which is just so refreshing in its honesty, really. It's been obvious for ages that such pejoratives are being used by imperialists to control the narrative in a way that benefits ruling power structures, but it's not often you'll have a mainstream narrative manager come right out and say that this is exactly what they are trying to do.
Smith's admission that he is training his audience to bleat the word "tankie" at any leftist who is "obsessed" with a tiny trivial matter like US foreign policy in order to control the dominant foreign policy narrative is born out by the rest of his Twitter activity, which sees him repeating that word constantly and weaponizing it against anyone who expresses skepticism of the empire's official foreign policy narratives.
"Tankie" used to be a term which referred specifically to British communists who supported the Soviet Union, but under the facilitation of narrative managers like Smith it's enjoying a mainstream resurrection in which it is commonly weaponized against anyone to the left of Bernie Sanders who opposes US imperialist agendas. I wrote against anti-imperialism for years without anyone ever applying that pejorative to me, but now it comes up on a near-daily basis. I haven't changed the basics of my beliefs or my approach to anti-imperialism, but the widespread use of "tankie" as a pejorative against people like me most certainly has changed.
It joins the ranks of famous weaponized pejoratives like "Russian bot", "CCP propagandist", "Assadist", and the one size fits all perennial favorite "conspiracy theorist" in labels which can be applied to ensure the dismissal of anyone who voices skepticism of narratives that are being promoted by known liars to facilitate the agendas of murderous psychopaths. Another new crowd favorite is "genocide denier", a label that gets applied to anyone who points out the glaring plot holes in the imperial Uyghur narrative which narrative managers are overjoyed about being able to use because it lets them equate skepticism of a geostrategically significant US narrative with Nazism.
What these pejoratives accomplish, as Noah Smith is well aware, is the ability to inoculate the mainstream herd from the wrongthink of anyone to whom that label has been applied. That way they never have to engage the argument or the evidence that gets laid out contradicting the official imperial line; as long as they can convince enough people to accept their pejorative as legitimate, they have a magical phrase they can utter to dispel any anti-imperialist argument which appears anywhere in the information ecosystem."