The Real House of Saud

The Real House of Saud

2015, Society  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 8.63/10 from 358 users.

In this episode of The Empire Files host Abby Martin turns a sharp eye towards the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia and delivers an alarming overview of the country's poor track record with regards to human rights violations.

On the surface, Saudi Arabia appears to be a lavish, civilized society boasting regal architecture and extravagant resorts. This image is starkly contrasted by footage of Saudi citizens being brutally punished for any level of perceived crime. These punishments range from limb amputation and violent lashings to being publicly beheaded. Saudi Arabia is only one of four countries left in the world to still practice public beheadings and, in some circumstances, crucifixion. It is shockingly common for people to be arbitrarily detained and persecuted in secret trials. Non-violent offences account for a whopping 43% of these executions. Why, then, has the United Nations elected the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to head their panel on human rights? Martin explores this contradictory arrangement with her trademark skepticism and dubiety.

The patriarchal nature of Saudi Arabian society is also put under the microscope, as Martin reveals the country's general oppression of women's rights and proclivity for punishing women for their own sexual assaults. Emphasizing that women's rights are human rights, Martin takes the UN to task for their election of Saudi Arabia to such an inappropriate position. She also highlights the violence against youth, especially activists.

Martin goes on to connect the roles of the oil and arms industries to the image-spinning that has enabled Saudi Arabia to maintain its position as an ally to the United States in the war on terror; however, as Martin bleakly points out, both countries are in their own ways responsible for instigating the creation of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Somber and chilling, The Real House of Saud illustrates its points with graphic images of not just Saudis being brutalized, but civilians in adjoining countries as well. Not for the faint-of-heart, this film takes a deeply serious look at international relations and the fallout that comes from turning a blind eye to the violations that take place each day in the name of freedom.

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Darryl R Taylor
1 year ago

All nations that have at the State level a commitment either implicit or explicit to fundamentalist adherence to any of the Abrahamic Faith's, is going to have to some degree both hypocrisy and/or inhumanity as institutional values.

Because those faiths literally draw their lineage directly from a madman who shagged the hired help, and was getting ready to murder one of his sons until ANOTHER voice in his head told him that he didn't need to.

Seriously, that is a dysfunctional family from the get-go.

2 years ago

A ridiculous amount of misinformation. Biased, Nonsense!!

2 years ago

Who cares if they do beheadings. Mind your own business. That’s their system. That’s what they want. That’s what they get. Just don’t live there. Regardless, saud family need to go and real shariah law needs to be in place.

3 years ago

this is far too biased and charged language regardless of the content.

3 years ago

To bad our news don’t show our nations own atrocities at home or abroad

4 years ago

so very very true. Money and oil (POWER) worth more than peoples lives. Death to the royals and their minions. If the people truly shared the resource, instead of an obscene few who love mega yachts, private jets and drugs and alcohol ( oh yes, the Saudi royals are well known Hippocrates), how much better life could be.

4 years ago

While I agree in large measure with the overall criticism of the Saud regime and the manner in which the ‘West’ had colluded in shoring up the region for explotation, I would also agree with many of the comments that the research and narration are far too biased. The presenter’s reliance on perjorative language insults the public’s ability to reachits own conclusions.

6 years ago

How Abby nailed it ?! These are exagerated facts and United States isn't heaven in terms of brutality. Americans treat women like sh*t and most of the scenes are fabricated and taken from other country. Whoever did this footage is trying tio manipultae the ignorant mass. I lived in both countries and I know these are false facts.

High School Level
6 years ago

Please live in an area, personally experience it, research it first-hand, before your next attempt at creating something "real" or "deeply serious." As stated above, no doubt there are truths in your product but so very, very clouded by poorly researched and referenced (The Washington Post? Really?), second and third-hand reporting so as to not be taken seriously. It damaged your product's legitimacy and clouded an important reality.

Again, know your subject personally, research deeper into the history of the Saud family and into the culture of the area writ large in order to provide a foundation for the facts you (hopefully) present. And do leave out the high school-level drama and create an documentary, a presentation of facts to present your audience. Otherwise, you have created an op-ed for the back page.

saleem mohamad
6 years ago

Their,house of Saud,horrible end in the pipeline,They will be punish by our Great Lord Allah,who is merciful but also is just or through Great Britain and France and Vatican.Allah's respite is long ,but a time of punishment is also set.

abu ali
6 years ago

i advice to read " HISTORY OF AL SAUD "book which written by " NASSAER AL SAEED " who's killed by king faisel in 70's.
to whos are interesting to know more details about saud's crimes to an orginal suadi people

Leslie Belden
7 years ago

The British police are known everywhere as the ones who don't use guns, who are polite, reasonable, etc. I should think it a sign of progress in human rights when the Saudis are getting training for their police in Britain. As for the main argument in this documentary, it is based on the idea that one family has ruled KSA forever. Actually there are two families, always vying for power: the Sauds and the Faisals. In the past, at least, they have been in at least as much danger from each other as anyone in the country is from either of them. They export revolution, because THEY WANT IT TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. They are a barbaric society by western standards. Why is that my business? They adhere to a misogynist religion. My business? Their religion is repressive. My business? Back in the Fifties, the Saudis were bad at business, unable to build their own oil infrastructure, and unbelievably degenerate in spending their sovereign wealth. That's none of my business now just because they've gotten a lot more sophisticated in the last few decades. They manipulate oil prices. That is my business, because my income is from oil royalties. But I can't do anything about the Saudis, so that's not my business. I'd rather attack the New World Order conspiracy in our own central and international bank government for conniving with the Saudis, among oh so many others, to create the sleight of hand policies that will replace the USD as the world's reserve currency with SDR's. As the Fed continues to reduce interest and go hog wild with Quantitative Easing, these documentary makers should be getting the log out of our own eyes, rather than pointing at the splinters in the eyes of others. I wouldn't trust any of the information in this piece of horse pucky. It was financed by someone who wants us looking the wrong way when the coins come out of our ears.

7 years ago

I am pre-disposed to opposition to monarchy and the general "gist" of this documentary. However, it is not helpful to what I suppose the goal of the documentary to be (and actually provides ammunition for detractors when Martin throws in her own descriptive phrases, such as "Afghan Mujahideen reign of terror," characterizing certain events as heinous, etc. The events described stand on their own and require no pejorative descriptions to have a strong impact.

Personally, the underlying truth that needs to be hammered home is that plutocracy, monarchy, and religion are all simply political mechanisms intended to control power and wealth within a small ruling class. Until rational and logical thought and philosophy become the wide-spread norm there will never be meaningful change. The public will continue to be easily herded and manipulated to maintain the system status quo...even if the specific group apparently wielding power changes from time to time. In short, money/power always corrupts and absolute money/power always corrupts absolutely.

7 years ago

I want to walk naked down the streets of Saudi Arabia, shouting blasphemous words at the top of my voice!

7 years ago

the saudi family regime was founded by the help of uk first time , this is pretty known fact . when usa emerged as a super power the royal family subservience turned to usa , illici relationship based on the oil for throne protection . regarding the excutions some of them are deserved to be honest as a punishment set by islam for killer , marrried adultrer etc . some other are undeserved like excuting the 42 sunni scholras recently for speaking the truth and opposing and criticizing the royal family . no doubt that the royal family is corrupted family stealing the fortunes of the saudi arabia controling its resources and income spending a tremendous part of it on the family desires , using the fatwa of major scholars to their interest all the time who are threatned by alhaer prison in case they judge against the family . the fatwa of the major scholars council and prison alhaer are the two potential pillars of the saudi regime for controliing the inside , and the usa super power for the outside dangers threatnes the royal throne

Saudi kingdom lover
7 years ago

This documentary is quite biased and the facts stated are biased and one sided. I bet that the person who made it has never actually been to the kingdom. I didn't watch the whole documentary because I just couldn't. When executions take place in KSA that happen for a reason, no normal person will kill an ennocent lif without a good reason, actually that's not allowed and if that ever happened, the person will be take to court for doing so. I'm very sad about how the media nastily pictures Saudi Arabia for other countries. And I hope people don't judge a whole society based on some people's acts. *sorry about my language English is my second language*

7 years ago

To "Far" and "Hodaded" ....
every body know in these days that ISIS has been created and supported by Saudi Arabia, it is not iranian propaganda

7 years ago

I thought you had an excellent documentary, but what really let it down is the lack of objectivity in the narrative. Your voice was full of opinion and drama, and even when discussing horrific things, is not what you should have in a documentary. Let the audience make up their own minds about how to feel about the information given, they don't need to be told. I think this often sets apart more senior narratives from more youthful dramatized versions. All in all very informative and well structured, but try to keep the dramatic tone of voice neutral and objective.

7 years ago

She said a lot of wrong info or not true for Saudi Arabia.

7 years ago

Come on, guys your acting like the saudis are jewish ( sarcasm intended).

7 years ago

clearly a propaganda film.

7 years ago

Iranian Propoganda

7 years ago

usually the half fact is considered to be a big lie , so this film is full of half facts propagating for certain ideas and building false conclusions, crap

7 years ago

My general comment on this doc is that many of its "facts" are not really factual. It makes many important points, but sacrifices impartial objectivity in many cases to make them. Like referring to the Muhajadine as brutal terrorists. They were terrorists if you were a Russian occupier. The Muhajadine, were not the Taliban. But beside that, when it talked about the Saudis buying American arms and joining in the bombing of Syria, it showed a formation of Swedish jets. And so on. You want to expand your understanding of what is and has happened regarding these issues? If so watch the excellent documentary by Adam Curtis entitled Bitter Lake, which describes in detail how the US/Saudi relationship came about and why.

Then move on to The Century of The Self by Adam Curtis which is without a doubt the greatest documentary ever produced regarding the consolidation of power by the manipulation of the American public. All other documentaries about this subject are minor league compared to The Century of the Self.

7 years ago

Democratic states today are the champions of human rights. US is the leader of the free and democratic world, it teaches democracy and punishes the guys who don't respect the rights of people all over the world. Saudi Arabia is a great friend of the US. Saudi Arabia beheads people. Beheading people, thus, must be one of the basic human rights as the US is not punishing Saudi Arabia.

I must be either mentally impaired or living in a nightmare......

Firas Lami
7 years ago

Missing a crucial part though; there was Kingdom of Najd and Kingdom of Hijaz before there was a Saudi Arabia, and while Kingdom of Najd was under Saud's control, Hijaz was ruled by the Hashemites long before, the same Hashemites whom ruled later on, Syria (1920-1921), Iraq (1921-1958) and Jordan (1922 - to date).
Couple of months ago; in a tremendously prestigious ceremony, King of Jordan handed the army their new designated flag (banner), with the Hashemite Star embedded in it; this star is also known as the Star of Hijaz! some considered that to be an indirect message (claim) directed towards the House of Saud. Why Not??

Milanka J Sullivan
7 years ago

This is an EXCELLENT documentary and ought to be made available in ALL Secondary schools and Universities worldwide. Come on Teachers = go for it.

7 years ago

We made the mistake many years ago. By placing all the value in the material things such as our paper that has no value and gold and other investments. Great countries put the value in the people first. Thomas Jefferson once said I would rather have a Central Banking System than a standing army to defeat another country. It is the 1% that run the world. Curbing the population is really in vogue. you had better take a better look at that smart meter. Now that is some new wold order. The NSA is hiring . Good Bye. and Good Luck!!!!!@

7 years ago

It is important, to accept the fact,that these brutal and murderous people can only maintain their savagery over their subjects, using the police and the military .Who are the police and the military? .....They are,of course,their own Fathers,sons,and other relatives.Until we can change the mindsets of these people,and convince them that loyalty to their own kind, is far more important than the grubby money paid to them by their masters then all hope is lost! It is all to do with the Human mindset,greed appears to be our only Driving-force

7 years ago

This short informational video is very mixed. The core of the message that "Saudi-Arabia is bad" is correct, though it uses false arguments to back it up. Sources as the The Guardian and The Washington Posts are not legitimate sources, especially when discussing one of many terrible things that the US has done. The documentary interprets factual information not always correct and comes up with their partly-true conclusion. It claims that Saudi-Arabia was involved in the 9/11 play with supporting (pre-)terrorist organizations. Do people still believe that 9/11 was a terrorist act?

Another thing that the documentary doesn't deal with is the history around the region that is now known as Saudi-Arabia. It only spends about a minute or two superficially going over the basics of it. If you look up more about the creation of Saudi-Arabia or the Middle-East everything will make more sense.

Whether crimes as pedophilia, rape, murder or armed robbery should be punished with execution is not neccesarily a 'bad' thing. It just doesn't fall in the Western box of civilized. Execution for crimes that can or could seriously harm others, have been punished with execution for thousands of years in cultures all over the world.

Finally, I find it very disappointing that this only covers some basics about the US-SA connection while there is way more about this. The US has given way more privileges, money and power to SA than covered in this video. Want to know more? Look up information about the strategic location of the SA with conflicts in the Middle-East, the Petrodollar and the history of the Middle-East.

7 years ago

It would have been good to provide some historical reference as well. Specially when the whole documentary is about Saudi regime. When it cam into power and who were the world leaders who brought them into power. What is Britain's rols in the making of Saudi regime etc..

7 years ago

you know what
im really sick of usa and their allies. more and more, day by day.
I can;lt wait until these gov'ts are finally charged with treason and war crimes and finally hang by their scrawny greedy evil necks until they on youtube for the whole world to see.

they have gone too far, they are mass murders, criminals, arms dealers, drug dealers, pedophiles, rapists, santanic, abusers and then lie to our faces, and blame others like it's the other person's fault.

What more do you need but 911.
If its true that al queida killed 3000 american's on that day and it's true that USA sponsered them before, during and after 911.

If it's not true al queda caused 911.
Then USA actively participated. Again treason. Even worse then above

Either way it's treason
I vote hang em high!!!

Capn Canard
7 years ago

Abby Martin nailed it. The house of Saud is nothing but a bunch of two bit crooks who parked their camels over a sea of oil. Very similar to the house of Bush.