Did you know Gen. Colin Powell is on Facebook?

I found Gen. Colin L. Powell's Facebook page!

I found Gen. Colin L. Powell's Facebook page!

It wasn’t easy, but I found it.  I had the opportunity to hear Gen. Powell speak in Sacramento last week, and I was a little startled to hear how strongly he advocated for electronic communications.  And his commitment didn’t stop at insisting upon up-to-date computers and connectivity for the State Department during his tenure as Secretary.

At 72, he says he’s peddling as fast as he can.  And he’s proving it with his own Facebook page.

Here’s a twist that none of us are likely to have to worry about:  he had to push aside a few squatters who were operating fan pages using his image/name in one form or another.

He’s got over 17,000 fans and he does appear to author at least some of his own posts – one on the 27th, several around September 11th, an entry that just said “anniversary” on the 10th, and a shout-out to the Boys and Girls Clubs on the 10th.

He had to have been a bit frustrated to learn that others were using his name prior to him establishing his own presence – even if they were friendly sorts.

He calls himself an optimist… and he’s funny.  Here are a few highlights:

  • He calls the fact that one-third of kids don’t finish high school a “moral catastrophe”
  • “We must show this clown hiding in a cave in Afghanistan that we’re not going to change who we are.”
  • “People like to talk about mission and goals.  I prefer to say purpose.”
  • “Our Founding Fathers intended us to have strong positions… but sooner or later you have to have compromise.”  (He is deeply concerned about the growth of incivility.)
  • On health reform:  “We’re losing sight of the fact that over 40 million Americans do not have health insurance.”
  • On China’s influence:  “We shouldn’t fear it.  We need each other.”
  • He believes the conflict with Iran and North Korea will eventually be resolved diplomatically.  He is unsure about the future of Afghanistan because it has never had a centralized, functional government.
  • When in a military conflict, he supports “decisive force.”  “I don’t want my enemy to have any advantage.”
  • “I’ve been called the reluctant General.  Guilty!  I hate war.”
  • “In recent years, our standing in the world has declined.  But it never went away.”  We are still the land of opportunity.
  • He believe it’s time to review the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because a lot has changed in 16 years but he was careful to defer to the opinions of those responsible for order and discipline.
  • He feels there is “some merit” to the notion that Obama may be trying to do too much in the first 100 days:  “There’s an absorption rate.”
  • Cap and trade will not be easily solved, and he doesn’t know what will happen with health care reform.
  • He believes in limited government and noted that both parties have made enormous increases in the size of government.  He considers himself a moderate Republican in that he supports a strong defense, fiscal responsibility and limited government, but he is socially moderate.
  • He supports immigration reform.  “We need to do something for the people who are here.”
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