Shoe-wielding Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who was catapulted to international prominence after throwing his shoes at President Bush during a press conference in Iraq, is now the star of the latest in viral Web games.
"Sock and Awe" -- named after the military doctrine employed in the US operation to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq -- allows players to throw shoes at a figure of President Bush, as he ducks behind a podium.
Al-Zaidi missed both his attempts before being dragged off by Iraqi security forces, but players of "Sock and Awe" have a little more leeway -- you can keep slinging footwear for up to thirty seconds.
The aim of "Sock and Awe", launched by Britain's Alex Tew, is to knock Bush out with a shoe. A feat already attained by 1.4 million players, according to the website (http://www.sockandawe.com/) Tuesday. At the time of writing, the virtual President Bush has been struck in the face by 21 million shoes, the site indicates.
It was in protest against the Bush administration's Iraqi policy that journalist Durgham Zaidi threw both his shoes at the outgoing president Sunday during his swansong visit to the battleground. The action won Zaidi widespread plaudits in the Arab world where Bush's policies have drawn broad hostility.
Tew, 24, drew world attention with his "milliondollarhomepage.com", a website he conceived when 21 to help raise money for his university education by selling off pixels at a dollar a piece.
Sock and Awe also shows visitors a league table of "Bush-shoeing countries" -- and although the United States is number one, the top five also includes France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
News of his new-found Web fame is unlikely to come as much comfort to al-Zaidi, who was taken into custody after the Baghdad incident and reportedly facing up to two years in prison for disrespecting a foreign leader, has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by security agents, his brother told AFP. Players of Sock and Awe are unlikely to meet the same fate. (AFP via MSN/ Yahoo/ Reuters Photo via Yahoo)