No sooner was I back in Baghdad from the journey to Mosul with Hillary than I got this strange call on my cell.
I was at my favorite cheap digs, the Hotel Alzubra, ready to move back towards Syria, but it was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying I should return north to Mosul.
"If this is Warezabar," the voice said, "I have something. Urgent."
"This is Pepe Warezabar."
His English is a little dark and nasal but pretty good, in a voice that never smiles.
So there I was back in the orange 1974 Honda, dust and the IED's etc. Hours later Mosul rose out of the evening sands like an over-ripe tangerine.
This time we met at a saloon named The Burqa al-Ablah, and it surprised me he would be in a joint like this, given sharia law and whatnot.
First I had to get through the door and the men in black with the AK-47's. Some wore exploding vests plus grenades on their belts.
I was inspected and felt over, then shoved into a shabby room with low lighting and western music. Probably it was the only joint in town with a generator and Wi-Fi.
With narrow slits for the eyes--furtive, serious little eyes--these females wore the traditional black burqa and nijab.
But! From the waist up only.
I dissemble you not! Like something out of Hustler magazine.
The stage was dim and the females moving fast up and down their poles, clientele at the bar craned forward.
I was amazed the leader of ISIS could allow this sort of thing, but there he was as I approached, leaning back on his bar stool with a dreamy look above a black bandana across his nose.
His fingers were tapping on the bar and it took a while for him to realize I was seated next to him.
He was drinking something out of a shot glass and ordered me one. Another violation! Whatever it was drew on the wobblies for a few minutes, then I was all right.
"You know, I have a confession," he began.
I guess so! Here you are supposedly some puritanical holy Islamic leader doing sharia and establishing a caliphate?
"It's not really me," he said.
He lowered the bandana. There was a large black mustache and beard, and he was laughing. But he looked sheepish.
"Which you is you?" I said.
"Look, everybody's coming down on me, but I'm just an actor. A paid part, you might say."
He looked over his shoulder nervously. One of the bottomless burqa females swooped down her pole toward him at that moment.
"I want somebody to know. Where all this is coming from."
"You get my drift."
"No, I don't."
"I will blow the how you say--whistle?"
None of the females were paying any attention to me, not even an eyeball twitching in my direction.
"It all comes from the south. Bandar Bush and his American friends got us into this, first in Syria, then over here. Look, they said, you got to think bigger and spread the action."
He nodded and even winked his left eye.
"You're from New York?"
"I had a small part in an off-Broadway Death of a Salesman."
"It's all an act?"
"How am I doing?"
Suddenly an al-Ablah female was ordered onto my lap and the conversation with him, you know, lagged.
But then with al-Baghdadi laughing to the side, I broke away from the female and ran to a comfort room, where I am now, filing this report.
What's my next move? Out the window? Okay, I'll wait for your tweets.
I need something bigger than The Guard Dog (which by the way is my personal blog).
The New York Times? Maybe, maybe not. Can you see the headline--ISIS a CIA Scam?
I mean, what would you do?