In a daring surprise raid, U.S. Special Forces took over operations of the Annecy Animation Festival screening reservation and party invitation systems early Tuesday morning.
Government officials said the operation, carried out by members of the Navy SEAL Team 9 unit that successfully rescued a group of top U.S. television broadcast executives from an unproductive set of meetings with Chinese investment bankers at this year’s MIPTV market, demonstrated the Obama administration’s growing use of surgical military strikes after decades of big-scale military deployment.
A White House spokesperson commented, “The United States of America will not stand by idly while its citizens are treated unfairly anywhere in the world. We will act unilaterally to protect our interests and stand fast against any threats to our people. That includes when they are mistreated in the distribution of movie screening tickets and invitations to receptions and special events that they are clearly entitled to and have been denied, against their will. Governments as well as festival directors should well take heed of our actions this morning.”
Unconfirmed reports of unhelpful festival staff and American attendees angered and insulted by the festival’s unwillingness to cater to their scheduling needs began filtering out of Annecy early Monday morning. By that afternoon, there were confirmed reports that even invited festival VIPs were being told they could not attend the opening ceremonies because, “le tickets, zay are, how you say, all gone!” By late Monday afternoon, responding to a slew of blog posts, angry emails and hand waving outside the Bonlieu Café regarding the festival’s sudden procedural shift in the distribution of tickets and invitations, top Pentagon official sprang into action and devised the mission plan within hours.
While details of the mission remain classified, what is known is that around two dozen commandos were dropped into Lake Annecy from helicopters flown from a carrier group in the Mediterranean. From there, operating two high speed amphibious assault ships, the teams came ashore outside the Bonlieu and stormed the festival administrative office without firing a shot. Festival volunteers were forced at gunpoint to print out various tickets and hand over stacks of printed invitations to the Disney BBQ, that were then distributed to the cheering crowd of American attendees huddled together outside the Petite Salle. A UN special event peacekeeping team was left to monitor festival operations after the commando teams were picked up by shuttle bus and ferried to an undisclosed location for debriefing and a well-deserved meal of tartiflette and salad.
Image credit: DAVID MCKEE (c) firstname.lastname@example.org