“We have attempted to make Afghanistan the happiest place on earth and simply haven’t gotten the job done,” said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in a statement today. “After months of private talks however, I am pleased to announce that we reached an agreement with the Disney Corporation in turning Afghanistan around. I swore that before I left this department, we would truly invest in the future of Afghanistan. Today, I’m making good on that promise.”
"We have an opportunity to make Afghanistan a sustainable franchise," said Robert Iger, Chief Executive Officer at Disney at the signing ceremony. "We know it's been rough going, but we've consulted with our top imagineers at Disney and written a treatment for a strategy of where we go from here."
Iger went on to explain that the deal means that as of 2014, Disney will assume full responsibility for operations inside Afghanistan. This will include the conversion of Bagram Air Force Base into the new Central Asia Disneyland featuring rides like "Inside Attacker Funhouse" and "Child Princess Wedding Palace" and of course launch crossover films like the planned release of "Afghantasia" in summer 2015, which will further promote stability in the troubled country.
Other film pitches include "The Lovebug Goes to Kandahar" and "Alladin IV: Wishing the Taliban Away".
The deal also means all groups operating inside Afghanistan -- including the Taliban and Haqqani Network -- will become trademarks of Disney, a move that has brought condemnation from both parties. Nevertheless, the merger is yet another coup for Disney, having acquired hot properties such as Marvel Entertainment and the Star Wars franchise.
Afghan leaders were excited to say that partnering with Disney meant "brighter days ahead."
"We remain confident that Disney at least has its financial house in order," said President Harmid Karzai. "It is a delight to work with people who are interested in seeing this through. They have the resources and will not withdraw because it is politically expedient."
"I'm also very much interested in being cryogenically frozen like Walt Disney apparently was. At least for a couple hundred years while this whole civil war, political instability, and brink of destruction stuff works itself out," added Karzai.
The Taliban has been less receptive to the deal.
"We condemn all dealings with the infidel entity Disney," declared Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujihid in a telephone interview. "We have no interest in having Disney in our country. They represent the very worst values of America. Perhaps even worse than that, they are far more efficient at destoying any means of creativity beyond their intended vision. Their lawyers will be a far more challenging opponent than the Army or Marines."
"Believe me, I saw 'The Avengers' on disk. I know what we're up against," he added.
Disney officials declined to comment on whether The Avengers would be used to handle park security.