Here's a great way to reward the only country in the hemisphere that still has troops in Iraq and is one of our last solid Latin American allies: Give a high-level diplomatic reception to its Marxist opposition.
This is precisely what the State Department did today to our ally El Salvador, poking it in the eyes or worse by receiving a delegation from the Marxist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) - the group that murdered US Marine Embassy guards in the notorious Zona Rosa massacre, among other things.
The formerly Soviet-backed organization, which still sports the communist red banner and celebrates its Stalinist namesake, Salvadoran Communist Party founder Farabundo Marti, set down its arms to avoid defeat 15 years ago. But it still finds common cause with the FARC narcoterrorists of Colombia, Fidel Castro, Palestinian terrorists and other extremists.
Now Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is bankrolling the FMLN's attempt to defeat the pro-US government of El Salvador in the 2009 elections - and Assistant Secretary of State Tom Shannon is right there to help. He's greeting FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes with full diplomatic recognition, ignoring the fact that the meeting boosts the credibility of the Marxist opposition party in what most observers agree will be a tight election.
Meanwhile, Funes is in Washington meddling in American internal political affairs, saying he hopes the Democrats win the 2008 presidential elections here. All the Democrat candidates for president should disavow his endorsement, but I'm not holding my breath.