Whereas "Flags" was a cynical, skeptical, pointed view of war from the American side, "Letters" offers a pure, almost poetic vision through the eyes and language of the Japanese — an idealistic depiction of duty and dying for one's country.That’s an accurate statement on Eastwood’s “Flags” and I wager it is an accurate statement on "Letters." Of course Eastwood gave the Japanese the “idealistic” treatment he refused to give the Marines—the Japanese were fighting for a benighted cause, and in Eastwood's seeming world-view, their sacrifice was more total, and thus they are the more spiritually significant force.
The reviewer goes on to underscore that Eastwood's films make "the ultimate point is that, despite being an ocean apart, the men fighting and giving their lives on both sides of the battle weren't so different after all." That's right folks, the walk-away from these two films is that the men who fought for dictatorship and the men who fought for freedom were pretty much the same.
And while I hardly think such was the case for the Marines of Iwo Jima, I certainly think it apples to the morally agnostic who live among us today. After all, just how many times have we heard that one man's terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, or that Islam is a religion of peace . . .