The phrase ‘the sword of Damocles’ is generally understood to refer to the perilous situation in which that unfortunate person was placed, sitting beneath a sword suspended by a single horsehair, showing the seat of power under the threat of being taken away in an instant. More on this esoteric phrase here.
To The Point writes, "Why hasn’t there been a repeat of 9-11? How can it be that after this unimaginable tragedy and Osama’s constant threats of another, we have gone over three years without a single terrorist attack on American soil? ... That we have taken the fight to the enemy in Iraq, drawing their attention and energy away from America; that the intel and law-enforcement folks have caught and prevented a number of planned attacks. These are good reasons why there haven’t been more attacks – but they don’t explain why there haven’t been any."
Word Net Daily reports (Has U.S. threatened to vaporize Mecca?):
"Israel … recognizes that the Aswan Dam is Egypt's Damoclean Sword," writes Wheeler. "There is no possibility whatever of Egypt's winning a war with Israel, for if Aswan is blown, all of inhabited Egypt is under 20 feet of water. Once the Israelis made this clear to the Egyptians, the possibility of any future Egyptian attack on Israel like that of 1948, 1967, and 1972 is gone."
"There has been a rumor floating in the Washington ether for some time now that George Bush has figured out what Sword of Damocles is suspended over Osama bin Laden's head." ...
"Completely obliterating the terrorists' holiest of holies, rendering what is for them the world's most sacred spot a radioactive hole in the ground is retribution of biblical proportions – and those are the only proportions that will do the job.
"Osama would have laughed off such a threat, given his view that Americans are wussies who cut and run after a few losses, such as Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1993. Part of Bush's rationale for invading Afghanistan and Iraq – obviously never expressed publicly – was to convince Osama that his threat to nuke Mecca was real. Osama hates America just as much as ever, but he is laughing no more."
Wheeler says bin Laden is "playing poker with a Texas cowboy holding the nuclear aces," so there's nothing al-Qaida could do that could come remotely close to risking obliterating Mecca.
Writes Wheeler: "So far, Osama has decided not to see if GW is bluffing. Smart move."