From correspondents in Paris

Agence France-Presse

December 17, 2008 05:07am

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush, anyone can take a virtual swipe at the US leader on the internet thanks to a new game.

The aim of Sock and Awe (, launched by Britain’s Alex Tew, is to knock Mr Bush out with a shoe, a feat already attained by 1.4 million players, according to the website today.

Aptly named after the US “Shock and Awe” military campaign to knock out Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the game gives players 30 seconds to aim at a figure of Bush ducking behind a rostrum.

It was in protest against the Bush administration’s Iraqi policy that journalist Durgham Zaidi threw both his shoes at the outgoing president on Monday during his swansong visit to the battleground.

The action won Zaidi widespread plaudits in the Arab world where Mr Bush’s policies have drawn broad hostility.

Mr Tew, 24, drew world attention with his “”, a website he conceived when 21 to help raise money for his university education by selling off pixels at a dollar a piece.

Zaidi, who was taken into custody after the Baghdad incident, has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by security agents, his brother said.