Art, Obama's backing off from the red line with Assad was not all that drew in the Russians. As to Trump's knee-jerk reaction to the gas attack, his action without a strategy leaves us looking no better than any failure by Obama. Trump has failed to see the patterns that existed long before any red lines were even necessary with Assad.
As I will have noted elsewhere, our record in the Middle East suggests both carelessness and lousy diplomacy on the parts of both parties for some years.
Joe, I'm not a Trump supporter. But he's only been president since the end of January. At least he didn't draw a red line and then erase it like Obama, which I believe gave the green light to Russia to help Assad.
Art, if you think Trump was correct in lobbing millions of dollars of missiles to make a point, you also have to ask what the hell took him so long to realize what has been going on there for so many years and at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and the exiles of about a million. The gassing was hardly a fresh headline from the Assad regime.
BUT the new factor is the Russian alliance which we hardly threatened with those missiles simply because the Russians are also tough and don't wilt that easily.
As I will try to point out elsewhere, the greatest and most dangerous expression of bipartisanship have been the muddled policies of 7 straight American presidents in the Middle East.
As to the explanation Trump owes the American public, you seem to intuit that he actually has a policy beyond this missile action. If so, it will be among the few that can be determined so far in any area except building walls between us and Mexico or saying nasty things about foreign leaders we might better engage.