Has President Obama undergone a change of heart? [Letter]

Columnist Jules Witcover claims that "many fellow Democrats" were of the opinion that President Barack Obama lacked a spine but that his recent call to the international community "to step up to the challenge of global terrorism" now suggests he has acquired one ("U.N. speech may indicate a tougher Obama," Sept. 29).

In my opinion President Obama has always had a spine. For example, while still a senator he condemned the madness of the Bush administration's wars. Later he called for closing down the Guantanamo concentration camp. And he won a Nobel Peace Prize because he recognized the need to dismantle the world's nuclear arsenals.

However, the wars continue. Prisoners remain stranded, possibly for life, on land which should be returned to Cuba. And instead of dismantling the nuclear complex, he is spending billions of dollars on refurbishing these weapons of mass destruction.

I do not know what brought about this transformation in his beliefs. He has ordered, for example, drone strikes to assassinate U.S. citizens.

Did the Pentagon give him his marching orders? Did he become a Manchurian Candidate?

The promise he showed as a candidate brought many liberals and progressives out to help elect him president. But that promise went out the window a long time ago. In response all we can do now is to protest and take to the streets.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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