In addition, the ideology of capitalism, and its ability to create wealth, has been treated with an almost Manifest Destiny quality as presidents have viewed it as their obligation to promote free trade around the world. Yet, many times the government has found itself mired in a military situation or occupation lasting far beyond the optimistic expectations that were presented on the initial assessments. Situations, which should lend themselves to a diplomatic solution, end up in a military response and the loss of life on all sides. These efforts have usually failed because they do not meet the liberal standard for humanitarian intervention, and the diplomacy has failed to account for the realism of a confrontational world.
Woodrow Wilson pioneered modern thinking in regards to a peaceful world where liberal institutions and nations diplomatically solved their differences as opposed to military action. Yet, his administration became involved in a lengthy occupation at Vera Cruz Mexico, which began as a simple arms seizure. While Wilson was seen as a man of peace, this reach across international borders in April 1914 would cost 300 Mexican lives and lingers today as a sign of Yankee Imperialism and gunboat diplomacy (Fagen 686). In his efforts to extend humanitarian intervention into Mexico, he had failed to calculate and consider the reaction of the Mexicans. He had placed the ethics of installing a legitimate government over the reality of the situation. According to Quirk, "combined with his sincere and heartfelt confidence in mans reasonability, was Wilsons almost perverse conviction that he, himself, was perpetually right. He did not seek advice. Other mens opinions did not really concern him, unless they should happen to coincide with his" (29). This is the danger of liberalistic attitudes in international affairs. They often assume an almost religious fervor.
The incident was precipitated when American citizens conducting