SPAIN: Last Chance

On the waterfront of Bilbao last week, city flags still hung from flagstaffs flaunting the city's 700-year motto: INVINCIBLE. The quayside was under fire from Rightist artillery, only six miles away a terrific artillery and aerial barrage had blown a gaping hole in el gallo (the rooster), Bilbao's vaunted triple iron ring of trenches. Rightist troops and trucks were pouring through. Shouted an exultant staff officer above the roaring of field guns: ''Bilbao is ours already, we can take it today, tomorrow, or whenever we want."

Neutral observers agreed with him. For...