Negroponte says Linux too 'Fat'
Too many applications are hemmorraging memory ... Too many applications are just plain huge ... Too many applications do plain stupid things ... Too many applications link against libraries they don't even use
It appears you're confusing "applications" with "Linux." Please report to your nearest Richard M. Stallman Freedom Facility for re-education.
This is (mostly) fixable, if we just buckle down and realize we have a problem that needs to be fixed.
I'm sure the projects you mentioned would happily accept well-written patches to reduce their startup times and memory footprints.