Another example of the monstrousness of the PD as well even though this was technically before the PD.
We even get a line to that effect from Archer near the end. "Someday, there may be a directive to get us to act like douchebags. Until that day comes, we must resolve to act like douchebags on our own."
OK, I paraphrase.
Someone once wrote that from the time of TNG onwards, a lot of Star Trek writers hated the restrictions of the Prime Directive, and quite deliberately set out to portray it in the worst possible light. Whether this was based on inside knowledge or was pure speculation I don't know, but it certainly explains a lot.