I guess I just associate deliberately crashing large vehicles into major cities with the intention of killing a ton of people with terrorism. Not sure why.
So when the aliens in War of the Worlds attack and the movie is obviously evoking 9/11, that makes the aliens terrorists?
I think they should keep the Star Trek movies off earth in general, but the ship crashing into a city just seemed, to me, like a build off that time the ship crashed into grassland in Generations, and that time the ship crashed in Search For Spock. But it is definitely weird that they would have a scene like that after evoking 9/11 conspiracy theories so much in the first half, definitely a strange dissonance there.
Also, let us not forget that this is Star Trek, where people who know that a ship is crashing into San Francisco can beam immediately to Los Angeles, or the moon, or whatever. So it may not be that the casualties didn't matter, there should not have been a significant number.