The news from Egypt is thrilling. In 18 days of peaceful protest, the people of Egypt have forced Hosni Mubarak from office and it appears that Egypt is prepared to transition to democracy. But, before we pop the champagne too quickly, remember that removing a dictator is a first, not a last, step towards achieving democracy. I seem to recall a certain President of the United States on board an aircraft carrier with the sign "Mission Accomplished" behind him. In Iraq, removing Saddam was the easy part. Helping to build a democracy is the tough part.
A few weeks ago, I cautioned everyone to think Augustinian thoughts. We can, we must, celebrate the resignation of Mubarak, and especially the fact that it was accomplished without bloodshed. But the tough work begins now.