^ Here Here
Kirk was dealing with a lot of BS in that film. Only one year ago he saved the Earth and potentially the entire UFP. He breaks the Prime Directive one time (seriously does ANYONE in Starfleet take that thing seriously) and get's sent back to the Academy. How humiliating for a decorated hero. Pike fights to make it a mere demotion to Commander a few scenes later. Next his mentor and father figure is murdered by a terrorist and Kirk goes on a crusade to bring that man to justice. Only to discover the terrorist and Kirk himself have been manipulated by the very chain of command they both swore to uphold.