You do not have to be on the side of liberal constitutional democracy to be a great general. He beat the French, he beat the Americans, and if he threw away lives like the Americans threw away munitions and air strikes, those were the weapons he had to spend.
Anyone who wants to know what went on should read Bernard Fall’s Hell in a Very Small Place. The bookstore links will take you to some very interesting memoirs and accounts of that time. Read them, and learn caution about the winnability of foreign wars.