Seems as though I oughta be familiar with this expression, but no, that’s false. (>:) However, in the above quote the meaning of false choice is almost self-explanatory. (<:)<2013 “In Egypt, U.S. Is Left With a Familiar False Choice – Washington's Predicament: Side With Either the Army or Islamists.”—The Wall Street Journal, 8 July>
FALSE CHOICE: A type of fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option; providing (most often) the false impression that there are just two options when there are actually more. A classic example is that of being given the choice between black or white when actually there is a third choice, gray, or even many more choices – shades of gray.
The above Wall Street Journal article then goes on to provide a third option:
WIKIPEDIA lists the following synonyms for false choice: False dilemma, false dichotomy, black-and/or-white thinking, the either-or fallacy, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of the false alternative, and the fallacy of the excluded middle. It also goes into some further detail.The army's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi has left the U.S. with the same false choice it has grappled with for decades in Egypt: between the army on the one hand, and the Islamists in Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party on the other. . . Missing from this equation are the secular, technocratic young Egyptians who ought to be the best allies of the U.S. and democracy. They launched the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and they created the groundswell that just forced out Mr. Morsi.
The following quotes are from archived sources:
__________________<1938 “Nazi Spokesman Accuses Cardinal of Demanding a ‘False Choice Between Fuehrer and Christ’”—Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), 13 October[/i]>
<1969 “Let us not, then, pose a false choice between meeting our responsibilities abroad and meeting the needs of our people at home.”—The Day (New London, Connecticut), 4 June>
<1992 “But over the years, as I have worked in this area, I have come to learn something that George Bush and his advisers still don't understand: I've come to reject the false choice between economic growth and environmental protection.”—Washington Post (D.C.), 23 April>
<2001 “Downing Street stressed again yesterday that it was a ‘false choice and a foolish choice’ to claim that Britain had to decide whether its future lay with North America or the EU.”— The Independent (London), 24 February>
<2009 “The Fallacy of False Choices: . . . President Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech in Oslo on Thursday featured one of his favorite rhetorical devices: the false choice.”— slate.com,10 December> [[article provides many examples of Obama presenting and rejecting the false choice]]
<2013 “Some people believe that we can either have a strong economy or a clean environment, but I know - and history has shown - that this is a false choice. We can protect our environment while simultaneously growing our economy . . .”—States News Service, 25 June> [[Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)]]
Ken G – July 8, 2013