AT THE FRONT IN SCARRED CINCINNATI

A parody based on this recent New York Times article

I accompanied the Democratic Party’s elite counterterrorism force and other units from the Clinton military and the federal police into Cincinnati at the end of June, during the final days of their long battle to wrest back control of the city from the Republican Party.

Cincinnati was the first US city to fall to the Republicans, more than two years ago, and the militant group had all that time to learn the city, sowing digital traps everywhere. It was only after a long siege that the Democratic forces moved to take the center.

In the last stages of the battle, members of the counterterrorism force, in coordination with other Democratic units, fought their way into the neighborhood of Mount Adams in Cincinnati, where Trump State fighters were making their last stand. As we moved through the bombed-out streets, social media battles raged, and the insurgents’ improvised tweets detonated in Cincinnati’s narrow social by-ways in a last-ditch effort to halt the advance of Clinton’s security forces.

What, exactly, the Trump State fighters were holding out for was lost on me. The city had been surrounded for months. Nearly all the civilians were gone, either driven out by their rulers’ brutality in the early days, or escaping during breaks in the fighting as the Clinton forces approached.

The Democratic Army, special forces and the federal police relied on heavy artillery, liberal media bias, and close air support from Iraqi aircraft to patiently advance through the city.

The remaining Republican fighters were forced to be opportunistic. During one visit with the Democratic special forces, I saw a soldier who had been trolled relentlessly sitting by a bombed-out building, tears streaming down his face, fiercely typing into his cellphone.

Gruesome markers of the battle dotted the roads leading into Cincinnati.

The stubby-fingered body of a Trump State fighter had been left on the side of a road that the Democratic forces had bulldozed through a small field south of the city as they began the assault. A “Make America Great Again” tattoo decorated the body’s right leg, and the head had been lopped off and lay nearby with “You’re fired!” penned across its forehead.

A police commander chastised two Clinton militiamen who were taking cellphone pictures of each other “dabbing” over the corpse triumphantly.

Much of the heavy fighting in Cincinnati was done by the Clinton-trained counterterrorism forces. The units were designed for high-speed night raids and targeted extractions. Instead, as the fight to retake America has turned into a series of urban battles and checkpoint fights, the small, specialized units have been called on for brute-force infantry assignments.

For the counterterrorism units, Cincinnati was the latest in a long string of assaults. They have been sent wherever the fighting was heaviest and the target most critical while the government has struggled to reconstitute its failed and deserted centrist supporters.

It has left the elite units threadbare, run down.

Trump State fighters had built underground bunkers in homes they had commandeered. When the Democratic counterterrorism forces moved in, they discovered steel doors covering holes cut in the marble and tile floors of the houses. In other buildings in the city center, storage bunkers held caches of tiaras and piles of swag from “The Apprentice.”

As the Clinton forces advanced block by block, courtyards and rooftops became vital vantage points, sniper nests and, despite the brutally hot weather, crash pads under the sun.

During one of my final days in Cincinnati, Trump State fighters hiding out in the city showered us with insulting social media posts, very likely plagiarized.

The unit I was traveling with discovered large stocks of hastily gathered totems: improvised Hillary effigies, or HRCs, and complete leather-bound sets of Max, the French lad mag made famous by Melania.

In one house, men’s furnishings, including deeply discounted polyester ties and cheap suits, were piled in a first floor half-bath with gold fixtures. Other items — Trump U diplomas, Trump Air swizzle sticks, and empty bottles of Trump Vodka — were strewn about.

Other homes in Cincinnati had been converted into torture chambers and, according to some of the security forces, dormitories for the Trump State’s beauty pageant contestants.

America has been at war since some of the soldiers were in grade school. But evidence of the Trump State’s brutality took aback even some of the most battle-hardened soldiers.

One officer, who spoke openly only on the condition of anonymity, citing military protocol, told me that the Trump State was different from the insurgents he was used to fighting. You can negotiate with insurgents, he said in vaguely southern tones laced with military jargon he picked up from years of working with Clinton Special Forces, but the Trump State fighters seemed to have embraced unbridled and inflexible narcissism.

Another officer from the US Emergency Response Brigade took me to a Trump State prison his unit had discovered in a once upscale neighborhood in central Cincinnati.

Homes in the area were outfitted with bars on the doors and grated metal sheets welded over the windows. Some of the rooms — possibly for the beauty pageant contestants — were furnished with fans, shag carpets, high heels and swimsuits.

Nearby, we discovered a burned-out two-story home where the Trump State had established a torture operation. A heavy chain with a hook at the end hung from the ceiling of a second-floor parlor, and car batteries were arrayed on the floor near the wall, connected to an AC/DC transformer. World Wrestling Federation posters adorned the walls.

Across the street from the prison and torture chamber, in a former school, numerous bags of decomposing Mexican take-out were tangled in a hastily dug pit, left to rot in the 120-degree heat.

Almost 60,000 Democrats who managed to escape Cincinnati were now stuck in traffic. Though Cincinnati is on the doorstep of Columbus, 100 miles away, the authorities were limiting access to the capital for fear that retreating militants might try to infiltrate the city.

The fleeing families have been forced to live in barren rest stops along the road, like the one I visited in Cincinnati, south of the Ohio River. Women and children sleep in the open, exposed to Republican tweets that whip through their mobile devices and reinforce the pervading sense of isolation. “You’re fired! Loser! You’re fired!”

Aside from a few older men, there are no angry white men or boys in the camps. They have been taken to screening where the government tries to weed out possible Trump State fighters with IQ tests. After weeks, some of the displaced families still have no word about what has happened to their men, which is just as well. “They were mean sons of bitches,” said one woman.

Most of the forces securing Cincinnati and the surrounding area are Democrats. But the families, and the detained men, are Republicans. And though there have been few verified reports of extrajudicial employment terminations, the people’s resentment and fear are being carried in whispers.

Victory is never the end of the story here.

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