....Tonga has apparently asked New Zealand for military assistance to restore order. I am deeply uneasy about this. It's one thing to stop people from killing one another, but this smacks of propping up a corrupt feudal regime. And if that regime fails to deliver on its promises of democratic reform, and another riot happens, will we see New Zealand soldiers gunning down Tongans to keep a kleptocrat in power?Good question. Tonga, Timor, Solomons ... Fiji? And given that the democratic reformers themselves appear to be in favour of the rioting -- Akilisi Pohiva, for example, says "the violence that erupted in Tonga on Thursday was a natural consequence of many years of fighting for democracy"! -- rioting that has reportedly almost wiped out most of Nukualofa's businesses -- it seems to me like a situation to keep out of, doesn't it?
UPDATE: Robert W states it plainly in the comments:
Is there a credible alternative to the King? That is, is there an effective, organised opposition who is dedicated to peacefully transforming Tonga from monarchy to (for argument's sake) a constitutional Republic?
Because if the choice is just the Kleptocrat vs The Mob, we don't want to get in the middle of it unless we are prepared to annex Tonga -- and I'm not.