In 1989, the U.S. military surrounded General Manuel Noriega, who was holed up in the papal nuncio’s residence (the Vatican equivalent of an embassy) in Panama City.
While the Rangers probably would have rather gone full commando and blasted their way in to get him, cooler heads prevailed because any direct action against the embassy would have been an act of war against the Vatican.
Instead, a music barrier was erected around the embassy in an effort to force Noriega to surrender through psychological warfare.
Apparently the U.S. knew the soft stylings of smooth jazz would have little to no effect on Noreiga or the Catholic priests, who could potentially talk him into surrendering.
Instead of Frank Sinatra or Kenny G, they put on Judas Priest, Kiss, Twisted Sister, Van Halen, and Guns and Roses — and cranked the hopped up juke box to 10.
Simply put, the military needed to elicit a reaction, so they turned to heavy metal.
Noriega surrendered just days later.
Chad Wiley, a Bassmaster tournament pro from Pineville, was only 12 in 1989, but Operation Just Cause must have made an indelible mark on his life.
Sure, there have been times in his fishing career when Wiley could sweet talk a bass or two into biting with a subtle song and dance, but he learned a long time ago the best way to elicit a reaction out of a holed up in cover is to use heavy metal.
“Think about it like this,” Wiley said. “Let’s say I had a bologna sandwich, and you don’t like bologna sandwiches. If I tried to hand it to you gently, you’d wave your hand and shake